Skip to main content

Full text of ""Dear old Georgetown," or, Memoirs of Mrs. Martha Elizabeth Smith"

See other formats

:• -^^o^ :■ 


y , „ 

'. <p^ 

«• »^ 

•Cp. ^"i' 

0° .'.^i;::' \> / 

^^ - - ' \v -^ 

.*^^!;^%% ^^v4>";-o\ /^yJ^'% << 





.•jfJS^p*,*- ^ -V ♦ 


Lv "^^.^^ ; 




k" V*rw C^ * • 













Mrs. Martha Elizabeth Smith 



Pastor Emeritus, First Christian Church, 

Fayetteville, Arkansas. 

Press of 

Christian Board of Publication 

St. Louis, Mo. 


THIS memorial to Mrs. Martha Eliza- 
beth Smith was written at the re- 
quest and with the help of her sister, 
Mrs. Sarah E. Cotton. The prepara- 
tion of the little volume was a labor of 
love. The writer, while pastor of the 
church in Sedalia, of which General Smith 
and his daughters were members, was 
often in their home, and came to know 
and to love them as sincere and devoted 
friends. He was also with the family 
during the last sickness and the death of 
General Smith, and on the occasion of the 
funeral made the address. These inci- 
dents are recited that the reader may 
understand that the author has spoken 
out of the inspiration of sacred memories 
which have ^rown brig,hter and sweeter 
■with the chan^in^ years. 

June, 1915 



(From an old album of my girlhood.) 

As gazing on thy unsullied heart 

I'd pause before I rashly traced 
A prayer, a hope, a wish or thought 

Where it could never be erased. 
So now I falter ere I stain 

This leaf of purest white. 
So thrillingly intense the strain 

My heart would here indite. 

Yes, sister mine, thy sunny smile 

From memory's twilight dawn 
Has beamed upon the shadowy aisle 

Through which my path hath worn, 
To brighten every joy I knew, 

To gild each passing cloud, 
With heart forever warm and true 

And spirit justly proud. 

Yet, when I'd strike this harp unskilled 

To speak the ever murmuring love 
Which for aye ! its cords have thrilled, 

Those cords refuse to move ; 
And trembling with the weight intense 

Of feeling's fervid glow 
Sends up its prayer for God to bless, 

What can the heart do more? 

Georgetown, November 29, 1853. 

— Five — 



Prefatory Note: 3 

Dedication 5 

I. Her Father 11 

II. Her Mother 27 

III. The Earey Years 35 

IV. In Her New Home 45 

V. Life in Georgetown 55 

VI. Religious Influences 65 

VII. Her Journal 75 

VIII. Personal Traits 85 

IX. Her Poetry 97 

X. Her Poems 107 



The best part of a good man's life is his little, name- 
less, unrcmcmhered acts of kindness and of love. 

— William Wordsworth. 

The man who is deserving the name is the one whose 
thoughts and exertions are for others rather than for 

—Walter Scott. 

What a piece of work is man! How noble in rea- 
son! How infinite in faculties! In form and moving, 
how express and admirable! ^ In action, hoiu like an 
angel! In apprehension, hozv like a god! 

— Shakespeare. 

He was not born to shame: 
Upon his brow shame is ashamed to sit; 
For 'tis a throne where honor may be crowned 
Sole monarch of the universal earth. 

He hath a tear, and a hand 
Open as the day, for melting charity. 

— Shakespeare. 


Chapter I 


He was a good and a just man, determined in pur- 
pose, not to be shaken by the fury of a mob, or the 
frown of a threatening tyrant. 

— A Latin Poet. 

It is the teaching of phrenology that there never was 
a great woman who did not have a great father, and 
never a great man who did not have a great mother. 

Heredity and environment are the influences that 
determine character and destiny. The first of all 
blessings that can come to a child is to be born of 
sweet and virtuous parentage into a genial home 
where it is easy to do right and hard to do wrong. 
The first distinction that came to Mrs. Martha E. 
Smith is she was well born. The family both of her 
father and of her mother in this country originated 
in the colony of Virginia. They also shared the sac- 
rifices, the toils, and the glories of the Revolution, 
and later helped to frame the Constitution, which Mr. 
William E. Gladstone pronounced the most wonder- 
ful document ever struck at a given time from the 
brain and the purpose of man. 

— Eleven — 


"Great were the thoughts and strong the mind 
Of those who formed in high debate 
The immortal league of love that binds 
Our fair broad empire state to state." 

Her father, the lamented Gen. George R. Smith, 
was a man of heroic mold, both in body and in mind. 
At his birth "Nature and fortune joined to make him 
great. On his brow every god did set his seal to 
give the world assurance of a man." In form and 
feature he was a son of Anak. He was a conspicuous 
figure in any company. In personal appearance there 
was a striking resemblance between General Smith 
and the late Lieut.-Gen. Winfield Scott, the most 
colossal figure who was ever at the head of our army. 
He was both the wonder and the admiration of the 
Mexican people as he led his triumphant columns into 
the capital. General Smith's calm, benevolent face, 
set in a frame-work of iron gray hair, was a study 
for an artist. It was a face that good women and 
little children loved and trusted. To such he was as 
the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. He 
wore without abuse the grand old name of gentle- 
man. "He was as kind a man as ever trod on shoe 
leather ; mighty good to the poor ; a main friend to 
all honest people, and had a face like a benediction." 

His mind was well balanced, active and alert. It 
had the logic of instinct and went straight to a con- 
clusion without any long or tortuous course of rea- 
soning. He divined while others delved. In many of 

— Twelve — 


the finer and the diviner things of life that made for 
the well-being and the happiness of the race he lived 
a hundred years in advance of his generation. His 
library was large and well selected. His books, next 
to his family, were his chief companions. His in- 
formation was varied, extensive and accurate. He 
had a genius for work whether dealing with the prob- 
lems of business, the affairs of state, or the study of 
a great book. He read the best literature, both of 
the present and the past. This put him in touch with 
the best thought of the world and kept him abreast 
of the advancing age in which he lived. His ver- 
satility of talent was remarkable. He was original 
both in thought and method. Not content to always 
follow the broad and beaten way, he marked out for 
himself new paths into unexplored fields. He was a 
beacon to his neighbors, lured them to higher worlds 
and led the way. He was capable of great emancipa- 
tions. Most men are not. They anchor early and 
stay anchored. The changing thought and life of the 
world may disturb them, but it never moves them 
on and out into the ever-widening circles of truth and 
vision. Once determined on a great enterprise Gen- 
eral Smith took no counsel with his doubts. He be- 
lieved that "doubts are traitors and make us lose the 
good we oft might win by fearing to attempt it." He 
burned the bridges behind him, cut off all avenues 
of retreat, and pressed forward till he reached the 
goal and received the crown. In a proposed course 

— Thirteen — 


of conduct he never calculated the sacrifice. His only- 
question was: "Is it right?" 

His constructive ability was wonderful. He built 
one of the most substantial and stately homes in his 
town at the time. It stands today in the midst of 
ample and well kept grounds. He went onto an open 
prairie and began the construction of a city with wide 
streets and reservations for parks. He gave the place 
a wdnsome name in honor of his daughter, although 
he had to coin the word, Sedalia, which comes from 
Sed, a pet name for Sarah. This beautiful town with 
its beautiful name, and still more beautiful in the 
blue of the skies that bend over it, is the metropolis 
of central Missouri. He was the leading spirit in the 
promotion and the construction of a railroad that 
stretches across the continent from the Mississippi 
river to the Pacific ocean. This was done in the 
face of determined opposition, discouragement and 
derision. Some intelligent people made the pious re- 
mark that men like Senator Thomas H. Benton and 
Gen. George R. Smith ought to be placed in the 
lunatic asylum at Fulton, all because they dared to 
dream that a railroad could be built across the great 
American desert and the Rocky Mountains to the 
Golden Gate. In later years the dream of these pio- 
neers of whom the world was not worthy, became a 
splendid reality. 

General Smith used to say to the citizens of George- 
town, who opposed his efforts to secure the Missouri 
Pacific Railway, that some day he would make George- 

— Fourteen — 


town a habitation for bats and owls. This prophecy 
was strikingly fulfilled. The writer of this tribute 
while living in Sedalia some years ago had occasion 
to visit Georgetown, the former county seat only 
three miles away. The glory of the place, like the 
glory of Babylon, had departed. With few excep- 
tions, all the population had moved away, mostly to 
Sedalia. There was nothing to suggest that it was 
once the commercial center of the county, and the 
home of many able and distinguished men, such as 
the lamented Senator George G. Vest and Judge Jno. 
F. Phillips. The old courthouse was still standing, 
but could scarcely be seen for the luxurious growth 
of weeds and sprouting locust trees which reached 
almost to the top of the building. The glass in the 
windows was broken and the spaces were covered 
with cobwebs. A rabbit or a squirrel occasionally 
scampered across the paths where the streets used 
to be. The little breeze that lingered in the trees, 
the cooing of the dove, the music of the birds, the 
song and the flow of running water from the spring, 
were the only sounds that broke the silence of the 
summer evening. Everything was curiously sugges- 
tive of certain well-known lines in Oliver Goldsmith's 
"Deserted Village :" 

Here, as I take my solitary rounds, 

Amidst thy tangling walks and ruined grounds, 

And, many a year elapsed, returned to view 

Where once the cottage stood, the hawthorn grew, 

— Fifteen — 


Remembrance wakes zvith all her busy train. 

Swells at my breast, and turns the past to pain. 
* * * 

Sivcet was the sound, zvhen oft at evening's close 
Up yonder hill the village murmur rose; 
There, as I passed ivith careless step and sloiv, 
The mingling notes came softened from beloiv; 
The swain responsive as the milkmaid sung, 
The sober herd that lozved to meet their young; 
The noisy geese that gabbled o'er the pool, 
The playful children just let loose from school; 
The watchdog's voice that bayed the whispering zvind. 
And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind; 

And filled each pause the ^lightingale had made; 
But now the sounds of population fail, 
No cheerful murmurs fluctuate in the gale, 
No busy steps the grass-grown footway tread, 
For all the blooming flush of life is dead. 

The home Hfe of General Smith was ideal. His 
wife and their two daughters were the objects of his 
fondest devotion. He considered money valuable as 
a means, never as an end. During his lifetime of 
threescore and fifteen years he accumulated a large 
fortune as fortunes were estimated in that day. This 
he used for the comfort of his family, the advance- 
ment of the kingdom of God, and the pleasure of his 
friends. He did good by stealth, and blushed to find 
it fame. To him a sordid deed was appalling, and a 
wound a crucifixion. His heart was as sensitive to 

— Si.vtceii — 


pain as the needle of the compass to a disturbing in- 
fluence. He never willingly planted a thorn in any 
man's bosom. In a supreme crisis he stood and did 
the right utterly regardless of the result. Those whose 
lives he touched in helpful ways were a great mul- 
titude. When the ear heard him, then it blessed him ; 
when the eye saw him, it gave witness to him, be- 
cause he delivered the poor that cried, and the father- 
less, and him that had no helper. The blessing of him 
that was ready to perish came upon him, and he 
caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. 

When a good man dies various discoveries are made. 
The most interesting of these is the character and the 
love of some who called him friend. The following 
note from a gifted and grateful woman was read by 
the officiating minister on the occasion of General 
Smith's funeral : 

"My Dear Mrs. Cotton and Mrs. Smith: 

"Please accept these flowers and place them in the 
room where your father's body lies. The flowers 
were plucked from grounds which would not be ours 
but for the patronage and the kindness of General 

This grateful note calls to mind a paragraph from 
one of Ian Maclaren's little books in which he men- 
tions what sometimes comes to light after one dies 
who made friends among the lowly and who did good 
in quiet ways: 

— Seventeen — 


"The people supposed that they could mention ev- 
ery person whom he trusted and who influenced him, 
because they could run over the names joined with 
his in public affairs and heard from his lips. The 
multitude were not aware that this man escaped as 
often as was possible from the glare of public life, 
and hid himself in some country home where the 
scent of roses floated in through the open windows, 
and manners had a gentle simplicity. Some tribute 
will be found among the great man's papers to an 
absent friend; but no one will ever know what passed 
between those two when they sat in some quiet gar- 
den at set of sun, for neither ever told : or read the 
letters they wrote one to the other, for they are de- 

General Smith was the center of attraction in any 
social gathering. He cultivated the art of listening 
as well as talking. His sense of humor was devel- 
oped to a high degree. He was fond of anecdote, 
and was good at repartee — which was often both grim 
and emphatic. W^alking on Ohio street one morning 
he chanced to meet Col. Thomas T. Crittenden, of 
Warrensburg, a Chesterfield in politeness, a member 
of Congress, and, later, governor of the state. Colonel 
Crittenden greeted his old friend and comrade in the 
most cordial manner, extending his hand, and say- 
ing: "Good morning, General Smith, how is your 
health, and what do you know?" "One thing I know 
very well, Colonel Crittenden," said General Smith, 
"and that is every one of you abominable Democrats 

— Eighteen — 


ought to be hung!" He was a devout member of 
the First Christian Church in Sedalia, was punctual 
in attendance on the pubhc worship, came early and 
sat on the front seat. These admirable traits were a 
wholesome example to those who came late and sat 
far back. One Sunday morning the members were 
voting on the names of several gentlemen who had 
been nominated for the office of deacon. Among the 
number was one who was not regular in attendance 
on divine service. The vote was by ballot. As the 
name of this delinquent member was called again and 
again, the venerable General Smith said right out in 
tones that all could hear: "I do not see why any- 
body would vote for a man who never comes to 
church ! As for me I would as soon vote for the man 
in the moon !'' 

In the early days of Sedalia General Smith used 
to sell lots on easy terms to people of small means, 
the payments to be made in installments. On one 
occasion a gentleman who bought a place for a home 
on this plan, came to make the last payment of one 
hundred dollars. Before leaving his home he placed 
a roll of bills in his coat pocket as he supposed. When 
he reached General Smith and proposed to pay the 
balance on the lot, the money could not be found, 
although he solemnly assured the generous creditor 
that he put the money in his pocket on leaving home. 
General Smith relieved the embarrassing situation by 
telling his debtor that he was sorry for his misfortune, 
and that he was entirely walling to wait till the money 

— Nineteen — 


could be found or secured in some other way. The 
gentleman thanked his benefactor and returned to his 
home. Some weeks later this man's wife had oc- 
casion to make some repairs on his coat, when lo ! 
the roll of bills was found safely lodged within the 
lining of his coat ! He took the money at once to Gen- 
eral Smith and explained the circumstance. Taking 
his friend by the hand, General Smith looked into his 
face and said : "When you came to me some time 
ago and told me the story about having the money 
and losing it on the way I thought you were lying, 
but what you now say is reasonable, consistent, satis- 
factory, and proves you to be a sincere and an honest 
man. I return to you fifty dollars of this money to 
use as you like." 

After the expression of grateful thanks to his gen- 
erous friend the man went back to his family with 
a prouder and a happier heart than he had known 
for many a long day. 

To the minister of the evangel of Christ General 
Smith was a lovable, sympathetic, and helpful friend. 
He had the listening ear and the understanding heart. 
His face, on which were written the ten command- 
ments, was an inspiration to the sermon. He knew 
the value of an encouraging word, and how to speak 
it in a sincere and modest way. When he ventured 
an adverse criticism, or an admonition, it was a soft 
rebuke in blessings ending, and won both gratitude 
and affection. Fortunate was the young man who 
came within the radius of his influence. He warned, 

— Tzventy — 


admonished, foretold the danger, and the lurking 
enemy. He had pronounced views on the institution 
of slavery and the manufacture and the sale of in- 
toxicating liquors. These views he maintained with 
determined resolution, even if opposed by his best 
friends and neighbors. The Lord be praised, he lived 
to see one of these evils abolished and the other great- 
ly diminished and certain, soon or late, to be banished 
from every state. He was a patriot who worshiped 
God and reverenced the flag. A word against either 
would bring down his condemnation. The following 
lines had his grateful approval : 

"Flag of the free hearts, hope and home 
By angel hands to -valor given, 
The stars have lit the welcome dome 
And all thy lines were horn in heaven." 

Nothing in the life of General Smith became him 
more than the manner of his leaving it. The closing 
scene was tranquil like a peaceful river with green 
and shaded banks flowing without a murmur into the 
waveless sea where life is rest. It was midsummer. 
On the soft unbroken south wind was the odor of 
many flowers. In the trees the birds were making 
music such as pleased the ear of God. It was a 
place where angels, who are ministering spirits to the 
heirs of salvation, would love to stay their waving 
wings. To those who stood by the bedside and watched 
the coming of a pulseless sleep it did not seem like 

— Twenty-one — 


death. "It was but crossing with abated breath and 
white, set face, a little strip of sea." To this day the 
memory of the scene lingers in the heart like a star 
in the sky.' The mind of General Smith did not fail 
with the crumbling house of clay as is so frequently 
the case with the aged and the infirm. The lamented 
Mr. Joseph B. McCullagh, the brilliant editor, used 
to say of his friends, Rev. Dr. McAnally and Arch- 
bishop Kenrick : "Their minds seemed to fail with 
their bodies, but immortality must be a divine reality." 
When General Smith entered the valley of shadows 
he feared no evil, for he felt no sin. He knew whom 
he believed, and was persuaded that he was able to 
keep that which he had committed to him. He real- 
ized that he was going to the country he had all his 
life wanted to see, and to which he looked forward 
with intense and reverent curiosity. His last moments 
were curiously suggestive of the experience of the 
saintly Payson, who said as he looked into heaven : 
"Its glories beam upon me, its breezes fan me, its odors 
are wafted to me, its sounds strike upon my ears, and 
its spirit is breathed into my heart." 




(My Father) 

Stalwart and brave, like the oak on the mountain, 
A monarch he stood in storms rushing by; 

Hvimanity's friend — an o'erflowing fountain — 
He gave of his bounty to all who were nigh. 

Rock in a land that was pining for shadow, 

Where weary ones halting, found rest in its shade; 

Unmindful of race or of color or station, 

No call came in vain that humanity made. 

A patriot true, his heart knew no section — 

His country his glory, — her pride was his own ; 

Her children alike should share the protection 
Guaranteed by the flag that gave them a home. 

Sustainer of Truth, of Right the defender; 

No matter how strong their opposers were found 
No parley he made, nor thought of surrender — 

No compromise — for the bauble of place or renown. 

For innocent childhood his heart was o'erflowing 
With sweetness and love as pure as their own; 

And tenderly guarding the pure rights of woman, 
The place he assigned her in the world was a throne. 

— Twenty-three — 


But the feet that so long had been treading the highlands 
At last in the valley of shadow were stayed, 

And angels seemed wreathing invisible garlands 

Of the bright deeds and virtues his life had portrayed. 

With love and with prayer we tried to constrain him, 

But hearkening to voices over the sea, 
Our cries were unheeded, we could not detain him ; 

The strong man grew silent, the spirit was free. 

Not idly nor sadly did he enter the valley ; 

With harness all on for the duties of earth, 
God lovingly led him into the shadow. 

And gave him the glory of immortal birth. 

His life work is over. Lay him down without weeping. 

The dear hands are empty. Fold them now on his breast. 
The heights were all mounted, but the spirit's pure keeping 

Never waned for one moment. Lav him down to his rest. 

Sedalia, Mo., August, 1879. 

Tzventy-four — 



The same fond mother bent at night 

O'er each fair sleeping brow; 

She had each folded flower in sight. 

— Mrs. Hemans. 

Stories first heard at a mother's knee are never 
wholly forgotten — a little spring that never quite dries 
lip in our journey through scorching years. 

— Ruffini. 

Sweet is the image of the brooding dove! 
Holy as heaven a mother's tender love! 
The love of many prayers, and many tears 
Which changes not with dim, declining years — 
The only love, which on this teeming earth, 
Asks no return for passion's wayward birth. 

— Mrs. Norton. 

"The mother, in her office, holds the key 
Of the soul; and she it is who stamps the coin 
Of character, and makes the being who would be a 

But for her gentle cares, a Christian man. 
Then crown her queen o' the world." 


Chapter II 


A perfect woman, nobly formed 
To zvarn, to comfort, and command ; 
And yet in spirit still and bright, 
With something of an angel light. 

— Wordsworth. 

It is a trite, but a true saying, that a man can 
build a house, only a woman can make a home. While 
Mrs. Smith inherited much from her father, she owed 
more to her mother for her beautiful character, dis- 
position, education and culture. The mother was a 
constant example to the daughter of what a woman 
ought to be. She was complete in feature and in mind 
with all good graces to grace a home — a realm in 
which she reigned like a queen. Hers was a rare 
and radiant spirit, and a "heart as clean as morning 
roses newly washed with dew." To say or do a 
harsh thing gave her nights of solitude and sorrow. 
If it is only noble to be good, then in her veins flowed 
royal blood. A nobler woman never broke bread at 
the table of a court. Her charity and her sympathy 
were suggestive of the Master, who was moved with 

— Tweniv-seveii — 


compassion when he saw the muhitudes scattered 
abroad Hke sheep withovit a shepherd, when the snow 
shuts out the sky. Like the Father in heaven, who 
makes the sun to rise upon the evil and the good and 
sends the rain on the just and the unjust, her benevo- 
lence was to all alike, regardless of race or color, 
creed or no creed.' This service was performed in 
patient, uncomplaining contentment with her circum- 
stances, often in the homes of the poor, the humble 
and the outcast. Her only desire was to follow in 
the footsteps of Him who went about doing good. 
The fragrance of her memory has survived the buried 
years, and is still sweet in many a heart and in many 
a home, even as the odor of a flower remains long 
after the vase has been broken. The mosque of Saint 
Sophia in Constantinople is always sweet with the 
perfume of musk. It has been so ever since it was 
built a thousand years ago. This is curious because 
nothing is done to keep it perfumed. The explana- 
tion is found in the fact that w^hen it was built the 
brick and the stone were laid in mortar mixed with 
a solution of musk. 

It must be somewhere written in the purposes of 
God, who works all things after the counsel of his 
own will, that the virtues of the mother shall be vis- 
ited on the children in every generation till the end 
of time. The ways of Providence both to the evil 
and the good are not easily understood. It is the 
testimony of England's greatest bard that "some rise 
by sin and some by virtue fall ; some run through 

— Tiventy-eight — 


brakes of vice and answer none, and some condemned 
for a fault alone." When the records of time are 
written and the books are opened beyond the river 
that men call death, much that was dark on earth 
will be bright and beautiful in heaven. It will be 
seen that all that was best in men may be traced to a 
woman's love and a woman's hands. Robert Pol- 
lok, speaking of his wonderful epic, "The Course of 
Time," said : "It has my mother's divinity in it." Mr. 
David Hume, the historian, bears this beautiful testi- 
mony to the nobility of his mother: "When I think 
of my mother I believe in immortality. There was 
that in her character which I can not reconcile with 
final dissolution." Benjamin West, the greatest 
American artist, whose masterpiece is Christ healing 
the sick, made the suggestive remark: "A kiss from 
my mother made me a painter." This refers to his 
first effort when as a child he sketched a life-like pic- 
ture of his baby sister. The good Bishop Phillips 
Brooks, while on a visit to England, was invited to 
preach before Queen Victoria. On his return to Bos- 
ton he was asked if he did not speak with some de- 
gree of embarrassment in the presence of her majesty. 
He made the admirable reply: "Why should I have 
been embarrassed? I had already preached before my 
mother!" Long years after Mrs. Smith had gained 
the peace of death and the victory of everlasting life, 
her grateful husband paid her the following graceful 
tribute: "She is as present with me now as when she 
was living. Had it not been for her. I should not 

— Twenty-nittc — 


have been worth anything either morally or financially. 
She had more wisdom than any other woman I ever 
knew." Mrs. Sarah E. Cotton, the younger daugh- 
ter, bears the following testimony to the character of 
her mother: "I remember her in my childhood days 
as one I could not easily get around ; a woman keen 
and vigilant in the management of her household; a 
mother tender and loving, kind and sagacious ; a wife 
faithful and true ; strict in discipline and holding wise- 
ly the reins of power. 

"As a neighbor she was kind and obliging, but she 
never fell into the familiarity that breeds contempt. 
Refusing to borrow under almost any circumstances, 
she held the esteem and love of her next door neigh- 
bor; scorning gossip, she kept largely at home, feel- 
ing that her hands were full in training her children 
and servants. 

"Her daughters, she had determined, should not be 
victims to the evils of slavery as she felt that she had 
been. To this end she bent her efforts daily. Not 
wishing us to be idle, she found something for us to 
do in learning to knit, to sew, to wind yarn — cotton 
especially, for in those days the negroes wove much 
of the cloth they wore — and a thousand other domestic 
duties — many times inventing them just to keep us 
busy. Once when she was making us work and wait 
on ourselves, while a slave stood idly looking on, a 
sister-in-law remonstrated with her, saying: 'Sister 
Melita, you will ruin that negro !' My mother pleas- 
antly replied : 'Well, I would rather ruin the negro 

— Thirty — 


than ruin my children.' I remember one experience 
in winding yarn that tried my impatient soul severely. 
I had permitted it to tangle, and I think my mother 
kept me at that 'hank' almost a week. I have for- 
gotten just how long it was, but I know that no snarl 
of yarn or silk appalls me now, for I feel equal to 
the task. Whether this discipline was wise or not. I 
dare not say in the multitude of latter-day opinions ; 
but am sure it taught me patience. 

"I was a wayward child, and thought that our mother 
was giving us more work than was necessary. I once 
tried to argue with her, and asked for a reason. She 
said she wished 'us to love work.' I replied most 
earnestly: 'Well, if that is what you want, mother, 
you can never, never, never make me love it !' She, 
of course, smiled and pursued the even tenor of her 
way, nothing daunted in her courage. Time has proved 
that my mother knew best, and I thank her today for 
what then chafed my idle spirit and curbed my youth- 
ful folly. 

"When we rebelled we were sure of a time of retri- 
bution. She never would strike us hastily with her 
hand, but would make the punishment so delicate and 
circumstantial that the final demonstration, though a 
trifle, was to our child hearts very, very bad. She 
would send for a switch by one of the servants, and 
thus give us a time of anticipation and horror. The 
capital offense was going outside our large dooryard 
to play. Our mother kept us in strict surveillance 

— Thirty-one — 


and held us within its Hmits, except by special per- 
mission when we had good company. 

"I remember her as somewhat fond of dress, though 
compared to my Aunt Elvira, for whom I was named, 
and who dressed beautifully, she was very plain in 
costume. But in my love of colors, I remember her 
in pink and white, and blue and white ginghams; in 
olive green in winter, and in white in summer. She 
did not like black, and would never wear it, even as 
mourning for the nearest and dearest of her family. 
She thought gladness and brightness the important 
things and her cheerfulness was a great feature in her 
life. She would keep us busy in some way during 
the day, and when twilight came she would romp and 
play with us. These seasons of recreation were such 
bright spots in the daily life that their memory to 
this hour gives special cliarm to the evening." 

Happy are the children who carry in their hearts 
the memory of a devoted mother. Nothing can ever 
beguile them from the spell of her love, her teach- 
ing and her influence. 

"There is not a heart that is not haunted so, 
Though far we may stray from the scenes of the 

Its memories will follow wherever we go, 
And the days that were first, sway the days that 

are last." 




"Who lives to nature rarely can be poor; 
Who lives to fancy, never can be rich." 

"Man's rich with little, were his judgment true; 
Nature is frugal, and her wants are few." 

Who can paint 
Like nature F Can imagination boast. 
Amid its gay creation, hues like hersf 
Or can it mix them with that matchless skill, 
And lose them in each other, as appears 
In every bud that blows t 

— Thomson. 

Nothing is lost on him who sees 
With an eye that genius gave; 

For him there's a story in every breeze, 
And a picture in every wave. 

— Moore. 

Go abroad 
Upon the paths of nature, and zchen all 
Its voices whisper, and its silent things 
Are breathing the deep beauty of the world, 
Kneel at its sitnple altar, and the God 
Who hath the living waters, shall be there. 



Chapter III 


Life is a leaf of paper white — 

Whereon each of us may write 

His word or two — and then comes night. 

— Lowell. 

It is enough 
To see one ray of light for us to judge 
The glory of the sun; it is enough 
To catch one glimpse of heaven's blue 
For us to know the beauty of the sky. 
It is enough to tell a little part 
Of her most holy life, that you may know 
The hidden grace and splendor of the whole. 

— Abram J. Ryan. 

The lamented Dr. Joseph Cook used to say: "I 
was not born in Boston, therefore I must be born 
again." This was meant for humor, but it suggests 
a general truth. Both the time and the place of one's 
birth have much to do in shaping his character and 
destiny. Napoleon Bonaparte, speaking of his past 
life, said, "Not even my son can replace me." The 
conditions that fashioned the destiny of the great sol- 

— Thirty- five — 


dier had changed at the end of his dramatic career. 
A few might take his place, but none could fill it. 

Mrs. Martha Elizabeth Smith was born in the far- 
famed blue grass region of Kentucky, on Sunday, 
January tenth, eighteen hundred and thirty. The place 
of her nativity was Franklin county, in which is lo- 
cated the capital of the state. It is an interesting co- 
incidence that the gallant Theodore O'Hara, lyric poet, 
editor, and soldier of two wars, was also a native of this 
county. His remains are buried in the State C^meter)-' 
at Frankfort. His immortal lyric, "The Bivouac of 
the Dead," has made his name a household word in 
every patriotic home. The following quatrain from 
his poem is cast in bronze and placed in all our national 
cemeteries : 

"On fame's eternal camping ground 
Their silent tents are spread, 
And glory guards with solemn round 
The bivouac of the dead." 

Kentucky has the great distinction of being the 
first territory to come into the sisterhood of states after 
the adoption of the Constitution by the thirteen col- 
onies. It was settled by emigrants from Virginia, 
who came west to find better opportunities. These 
people were from the best families of the Old Do- 
minion. Mrs. Smith's grandparents on both sides be- 
longed to this Virginia stock. The people on the At- 

— Thirtv-six — 


lantic seaboard, like Abraham, when he left Haran, 
went west on parallels of latitude. This is the secret 
of the fact that the traditions and the customs of the 
people on both sides of Mason and Dixon's line con- 
tinue about as they were from the beginning. This 
emigration began at the close of the Revolutionary 
War, and extended westward across the great plains 
and the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. The 
people of the United States, like the ancient Greeks, 
thirst for the horizon. Charles Dickens came to this 
country in eighteen hundred and forty-two. He ex- 
tended his visit as far into the interior as Saint Louis. 
He was a student of human nature. Nothing that was 
of interest to a thoughtful mind escaped his notice. 
He could see, and fitly describe, more interesting ob- 
jects in a single town than most men could on a con- 
tinent. In his American Notes he says : "The typical 
American would hesitate to enter heaven until as- 
sured that he could go a little farther west." 

From this sturdy stock who peopled the West, came 
a multitude of able and distinguished men. Kentucky 
was the home of Henry Clay and the birthplace both 
of Abraham Lincoln and Jefiferson Davis. John Sher- 
man belonged to a family that came from Connecticut 
to Ohio. Allen G. Thurman, his associate in the 
United States Senate, emigrated with his father's fam- 
ily from Virginia. Some one who made painstaking 
investigation, said : "All the great generals in the 
Union army during the Civil War were mainly from 
the West, and none from New England." The con- 

— Thirty-seven — 


ditions in the West were such as to develop men and 
women of rugged character and striking personaHty. 
This movement of the population westward is a study 
for the philosopher as well as the historian. 

"It is the tread of pioneers, 
Of nations yet to be; 
The first low wash of zvaves, 
Where soon shall roll a human sea. 
The rudiments of empire here 
Are plastic yet and zvarm; 
The chaos of a mighty world 
Is rounding into form." 

Mrs. Smith, though born in Kentucky, was destined 
to be reared, to live a long life, and finally to be buried 
under other skies. When an infant, not four years 
old, her father and mother with their two daughters 
emigrated to Missouri, a rising young commonwealth 
that had come into the Union thirteen years before. 
They located in Pettis county, the central part of the 
state. General Smith bought a large body of land 
which in the end made him a wealthy man. It seems 
fabulous that the fertile soil of central Missouri once 
sold for twelve and a half cents an acre. Saline county 
has as rich ground as can be found in the world. It 
is today more valuable than the fabled wealth Croe- 
sus gained from his victories, his mines, and the golden 
sands of Pactolus. In the days of the stagecoach and 
the ox- wagon, it was a long and tedious journey from 
Georgetown, Kentucky, to Pettis county, Missouri, 

— Thirty-eight — 


Mrs. Smith, in her own beautiful way, tells the story 
of the removal to the West : 

"In the month of October, eighteen hundred and 
thirty-three, our grandfather. General David Thomson, 
and grandmother left their home in Scott county, Ken- 
tucky, with eight of their children, to make a new 
home in Missouri. Our mother and grandmother, our 
two young girl aunts, my sister and myself, all trav- 
eled in one large carriage with a negro man, Jack- 
son, driving and grandfather on horseback to find the 
roads and judge of crossings over muddy places. The 
carriage was a great yellow coach, closed all around 
from air and light except for windows in the door. 
It sat high upon the springs, and had folding steps by 
which to ascend into its broad deep-cushioned seats. 
On the outside was a driver's seat high up above the 
horses, and behind was another large seat that hung 
by broad belts of leather, for an outrider, whose duty 
it was to open gates and attend the family. The whole 
was drawn by a pair of horses caparisoned with the 
ponderous trappings of the times. A saddle-horse ac- 
companied the party which was used alternately by the 
ladies to relieve the monotony and the tedium of the 
journey. In another party went the caravan of ox- 
wagons containing the furniture, looms, spinning 
wheels — big and little — and tableware, together with 
the negroes. The whole company of emigrants con- 
sisted of eighty-eight persons, of whom seventy-five 
were slaves. 

"Before the final good-byes were spoken there were 

— Thirty-nine — 


many things to do. Among the most important of 
these was the arranging to take or to leave entire 
slave families together, so that there might be no in- 
voluntary separation. The slaves had inter-married 
with the neighbor's negroes, and our grandfather, be- 
ing humane in his feelings, was unwilling to separate 
them. To overcome this difficulty, he had to buy 
where he could and sell where he must. This was no 
little task among a number of thirty or forty people, 
but finally it was accomplished as far as possible and 
the caravan set out. The negroes — men and women, 
the babies and the gray-haired grandparents-— were to 
follow their master. There were five or six verj^ old 
ones — Aunt Creasy, Aunt Kizzy, Uncle Toby, Aunt 
Rachel, and Uncle Jack — who, as I remember them, 
were oracles of wisdom, holding direct communication 
with spirits, wizards and witches; and who would on 
occasion deal out some of their mysterious spells to 
us listening, wondering children, in the long, quiet 
evenings that followed our settlement in the new coun- 
try. Dear old Kentucky memories were to them hal- 
lowed things of the beautiful, irrevocable past ; and 
their faltering, trembling voices, their heavy lips, and 
wrinkled faces only made their pathetic stories the 
more sacred and the more tender to our too credulous 

"Our father was to follow, after the settlement of 
some business at Georgetown. Of the incidents of 
the trip we must remain ignorant almost entirely, as 
the writer — one of the babies in the carriage — can 

— Forty — 


only remember a place called Purgatory, in Illinois, 
where the road led through a swamp; and the mem- 
ory goes that it really was a purgatory, as the image 
of the floundering horses is vividly before her. An- 
other scene that was impressed indelibly is the cross- 
ing of the river in the ferryboat at Saint Louis, and 
how frightened our mother and grandmother were. 
The rest of the journey is lost in the baby memories 
of the mind that is trying to record these incidents. 

"Our Uncle Milton, who had charge of the negroes, 
was moving on slowly, but was not long after us in 
reaching the place of our destination. Our party, af- 
ter tarrying with relatives for several weeks in Cal- 
loway county, arrived in Pettis on the evening of the 
twelfth of November, eighteen hundred and thirty- 
three, and went into camp — so our grandfather's jour- 
nal says — in the Lamine river bottom, at what is now 
known as Scott's Ford. From about ten o'clock in 
the evening until daybreak, they witnessed the cele- 
brated display of meteors in the heavens. Dear old 
Peggy, who was cook for our grandfather in his later 
life, and died in eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, 
at the age of seventy-seven, told vividly how fright- 
ened the negroes were at the falling of the stars. 'We 
were in camp by the Lamine river,' she said, 'and we 
all thought the judgment had come. We could hear 
the stars falling like hail on the tops of the tents. 
The old folks all prayed, and we children "hollered." 
The elements were ablaze. It done lasted for hours, 
and we all never expected to see daylight no more !' " 

— Forty-one — 


Only the home can found the state. 

— Joseph Cook. 

A cottage, if God be there, zvill hold as much of 
happiness as might stock a palace. ._ .. 

One's early home is no more than the memory of 

early years. The image is never marred. There is 

no disappointment in memory, and one's exaggerations 

are always on the good side. ^ c;- x 

-^ ^ — George hnot. 

"Home can never be transferred — never repeated 
in the experience of the individual. The place conse- 
crated by paternal love, by the innocence and sports 
of childhood, and by the first acquaintance of the heart 
zvith nature, is the only true home." 

In all my wand'rings round this world of care, 
In all my griefs — and God has given my share — 
I still had hopes my latest hours to crown, 
Amidst these humble bow'rs to lay me down; 
To husband out life's taper at the close. 
And keep the flame from wasting, by repose: 
I still had hopes, for pride attends us still. 
Amidst the swains to shozv my book-learn' d skill. 

Around my fire an evening group to draw, 
And tell of all I felt and all I saw; 
And, as a hare, whom hounds and horns pursue. 
Pants to the place from whence at first she flew, 
I still had hopes, my long vexations past. 
Here to return — and die at home at last. 

— Goldsmith. 

Chapter IV 


The first sure symptoms of a mind in health 
Is rest of heart, and pleasures felt at home. 

— Young. 

Home is the resort 
Of love, of joy, of peace and plenty, where 
Supporting and supported, polished friends 
And dear relations mingle into bliss. 

— Thomson. 

Cling to thy home! if there the meanest shed 
Yield thee a hearth and shelter for thy head, 
And some poor plot, with vegetables stored, 
Be all that heaven allots thee for thy board — 
Unsavory bread, and herbs that scattered grow, 
Yet e'en this cheerless mansion shall provide 
More heart's repose than all the world beside. 

— Leonidas. 

There is no braver story in history than the story 
of the pioneers. It is replete with all that is heroic 
in faith, courage, labor and sacrifice. The priva- 

— Forty- five — 


tions of the early settlers, however, had compensations 
that seldom come to those who live in the leisure and 
the luxury of the older communities. The perils of 
even the highest civilization are greater than those that 
beset life in new and sparsely settled countries. Those 
who live in solitary places "find tongues in trees, books 
in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good 
in everything." It is the testimony of Street that Na- 
ture is man's best teacher. She unfolds- her treasures 
to his search, unseals his eye, illumines his mind, and 
purifies his heart ; and influence breathes from all the 
sights and sounds of her existence; she is wisdom's 

Some of the most admirable women who have ever 
lived were born and reared on the frontier. They shed 
the sweet light and grace of a holy example where 
few besides God and the angels could see and under- 
stand. In patient toil and personal sacrifices the foun- 
dations were laid for homes, schools, churches, towns 
and cities, which have become the splendid heritage 
of a younger generation. Thus one sows and another 
reaps, and gathers fruit to life eternal, that both he 
that sows and he that reaps may rejoice together. 
There will be no dearer, sweeter remembrances in 
heaven than those of the early settlers, who sowed 
precious seeds in solitary places, caused the wilder- 
ness to be glad, and made the desert to blossom as 
the rose. Man's first commission, given in the Gar- 
den of Eden, was to be fruitful, to multiply, to re- 
plenish the earth, and to subdue it. Later the prom- 

— Fortv-six — 


ise was given that while the earth remains, seed time 
and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and 
day and night shall not cease. At this remote day 
God does not leave himself without witness. He still 
sends the rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, fill- 
ing our hearts with food gladness. The seasons come 
and go, and go and come, to teach man gratitude. 

Mrs. Smith tells in the following paragraphs some 
incidents and experiences in founding the home in the 
West : 

"Among our grandfather's colored men were a car- 
penter, a stonemason, and a millwright, besides the 
farmhands ; and among the w^omen a weaver, a spin- 
ner, cooks, and housemaids, so that the elements of a 
rude civilization were in the family. On a tract of 
timber land which our grandfather had bought on 
Muddy creek, several cabins were ready ; and into 
these we moved with our grandfather. A little later 
our mother's oldest sister, her husband, Mr. Redd 
Major, and their little family of three girls and one 
boy, located not far away. These were pleasant days 
to me, and in the golden retrospect there is no want 
of any luxury or happiness in the dear humble homes, 
lighted as they were by my mother's and grandmoth- 
er's gentle faces, and Aunt Elvira's good cheer, that 
made all the children happy. There were, also, dear 
Aunt Marion and Aunt Melcena. and Cousin Ann, and 
Cousin Evelyn, the oldest of Aunt Elvira's daugh- 
ters. I looked with the envy of a child at their rap- 
idly advancing womanhood, and a kind of reverence 

— Forty-seven — 


came over me, as I thought that mine with its privi- 
leges v^ould never come. The other children of Aunt 
Elvira were 'Bine' or Vienna — somewhat older than 
myself — 'Johnny,' the youngest of all except my baby 

"The cabins which were occupied during the first 
winter were rude and crowded. The next year our 
grandfather built some better and more commodious 
ones on the southwest quarter of section seven, which 
lies about three miles northwest of Georgetown. 
These were arranged in a row, two and two together, 
connected by an open passageway roofed over. His 
own family occupied two of them until he could build 
a better house; this, when built in eighteen hundred 
and forty, was christened Elm Spring, and became 
our grandfather's permanent home. The boys, Mor- 
ton and Monroe, were sent back to Georgetown, Ken- 
tucky, to complete their education. Later Milton 
taught school in a log house built for the purpose about 
half way between our Uncle Major's and our grand- 
father's, where the children of both families first 
started to school in the new country. Here he had as 
pupils the neighbor's children, as well as his own lit- 
tle sisters, Marion and Melcena, and the nieces and 

"When our grandfather removed from the cabins 
on the Muddy he sold them and the land about them 
to our father. We had been living there about a year, 
when one day a great misfortune befell us. Our 
mother and father, with sister, had gone to visit our 

— Forty-eight — 


Uncle Mentor, who had just brought his bride to a 
log-cabin home in our locality. While they were away 
our dear little house took fire and burned to the ground, 
destroying all that we had. It was a serious loss. It 
was our little all, brought at great expenditure from 
our old home in Kentucky, and each piece had its 
precious associations. All the relics and heirlooms 
from our grandfather Smith were destroyed. We 
were left destitute, indeed. Nothing was saved, not 
even an article of clothing. I happened to be at my 
grandfather's about a mile away for a few days and 
had a change of clothing. Except for this, we were 
deprived of everything and had to begin anew. My 
only memory of the sad event is of seeing my mother 
weep when she and my father, after turning away from 
their home, came to my grandfather's for refuge. The 
tableau of the negroes and white people is vividly im- 
pressed on my memory, all looking toward the red 
smoke that was still going up in the west. A kind 
neighbor, Mrs. Reece, who lived about a half mile 
from us, gave to my little sister a white cotton dress, 
homegrown, homespun and homewoven. My mother's 
eyes would fill with tears to the last day of her life, 
when she would speak of this neighborly act. 

"The calamity which overtook us was the more seri- 
ous because there were no stores within our reach 
from which to replenish our household goods, but 
from our good grandmother's supply, our lost bed- 
ding was partially restored, and our father's deft fin- 

— • Forty-nine — 


gers and willing heart soon supplied a more homely, 
perhaps, but more precious, set of furniture from the 
black walnut trees that skirted the stream nearby. Two 
walnut chests, I recall, to the depths of which I often 
had to go, standing on tiptoe — the one for clean bed- 
ding, and the other for the laundried cotton under- 
wear, which always had to go through a second air- 
ing on chairs in front of the fire before being used. 
Well do I remember, also, the bedstead with short up- 
right posts that served for father and mother; and 
the lower one, the little trundle-bed, with its rollers, 
both of which might be called awkward in the pres- 
ent stage of civilization, but which served well their 
purpose in that day. That same little bed gave many 
a sacred repose to our child forms, and many an un- 
easy resting — or unresting — place when we were 
shaken by the ague, from which none of us escaped. 
The trundle-bed was, also, a shrine where the little 
sisters knelt at night and said the prayers which they 
had first learned at their mother's knee." 

The fire upon the hearth is low, 
And there is stillness everywhere, 
And, like wing'd spirits, here and there 
The firelight shadows come and go. 
And as the shadows round, me creep, 
A childish treble breaks the gloom. 
And softly from a further room 
Comes: "Now I lay me down to sleep." 

— Fifty — 


And, somehow, with that pray'r 
And that szveet treble in my ears. 
My thought goes back to distant years. 
And lingers with a dear one; 
And OS I hear my child's "Amen," 
My mother's faith comes back to me — 
Crouched at her side I seem to be. 
And mother holds my hand again. 

Oh, for an hour in that dear place — 
Oh, for the peace of that dear time — 
Oh, for a glimpse of mother's face! 
Yet, as the shadows round me creep, 
I do not seem to be alone — 
Sweet magic of that treble tone. 
And "Noiv I lay me down to sleep." 

- — Eugene Field. 

— Fifty-one 


The place is dignified by the doer's deed. 

— Shakespeare. 

He who thinks his place below him, will certainly 
be below his place. 

— Saville. 

A true man never frets about his place in the world, 
but just slides into it by the gravitation of his nature, 
and szvings there as easily as a star. 

— Chapin. 

Whatever the place allotted to us by Providence,, 
that, for us, is the post of honor and duty. God esti- 
mates us not by the position we are in, but by the way 
in which zve fill it. 

— Edwards. 


Chapter V 


Where you are is of no moment, but only what 
you are doing there. It is not the place that ennobles 
you, but you the place; and this only by doing that 
zvhich is great and noble. 

— Petrarch. 

Mrs. Smith could say of Georgetown, her second 
home in the West, as Henry Grattan said of the cause 
of Irish hberty : "I stood by its cradle, and I walked 
with its hearse." 

The village was laid out when she was a child five 
years old. Gen. David Thomson, her grandfather, 
was allowed to name the place. He called it George- 
town, in sacred memory of the town in Kentucky from 
which he came. The location was near the center 
of the county, and beautiful for situation. The ground 
was high, rolling, and covered with a natural growth 
of trees. Two crystal springs furnished an abundant 
supply of water at all seasons. By an act of the legis- 
lature the town was made the county seat, and a beau- 
tiful brick courthouse was built. Thirty years later 

*'Mr. Geo. W. Bamett, a well-known attorney of Sedalia, &ave valuable 
assistance in the preparation of this Chapter. 

— Fifty- five — 


the seat of justice was changed to the rising young 
city of Sedaha. The population, soon or late, fol- 
lowed the court, and "dear old Georgetown" became 
a deserted village. 

The home of General Smith, built in Georgetown 
after the one destroyed by fire in the country, was 
the second home built in the town. It was not long, 
however, till the village began to grow by leaps and 
bounds in population, religious, social and commer- 
cial importance. Two brothers, Watson and Cliflford 
Wood, came with their families, made beautiful homes 
and opened a well equipped dry goods store. They 
were admirable people who belonged to the aristoc- 
racy of character and whose influence was felt for 
good both in the religious and the social life of the 

There was no physician nearer than Arrow Rock 
or Boonville. It was a score of miles to one of 
these places, and two score miles to the other. In 
such a situation the average person could scarcely af- 
ford to be sick. Man's extremity, however, is God's 
opportunity. It is also often the doctor's opportunity 
as well. The first resident physician in Georgetown 
was Dr. Wilkins Watson, of Virginia, a singularly 
gifted and skillful man. Together with his wife and 
two little girls they were a winsome family. Their 
home at once became a social center of refinement and 
culture. This good physician, a general practitioner, 
was a duplicate of Ian Maclaren's "Doctor of the Old 

— Fifty-six — 


School," the hero of his graceful little book, "Be- 
side the Bonnie Brier Bush." 

"Among the various callings there is one which 
seems to confer a singular elevation and winsomeness 
of character. Its members have a firmer hold on the 
love of the people than any other body of men. They 
have won their just and enviable esteem by a habit 
of unparalleled self-sacrifice. No one serves his fel- 
lows at greater cost to himself, or with a more abso- 
lute disregard of himself than a physician. If any- 
one, indeed, has fulfilled the sermon on the mount, 
and exhibited the spirit of Christ in action, it is this 
man. Yet how few have been his religious privileges, 
who is largely cut off from the word and the sacra- 
ment, who labors while others worship, and is apt 
to be beset by various trials of faith. It is evident 
that he must enjoy some powerful compensation and 
that some influence atones to him for what sanctifies 
others and he has lost. It is certain that this fine 
influence must be the constant contact with suffering 
from day to day, till under the necessary composure 
of his manner, and a natural repudiation of senti- 
ment his heart has been shaped to pity and his will 
to service. They who serve unceasingly before the 
altar of suffering receive their reward." 

It is a trite but true saying that "it never rains, 
but it pours." The location of Dr. Watson in George- 
town was soon followed by the arrival of Dr. Morse, 
Dr. Snoddy, Dr. Spedden, Dr. Farris, Dr. Bidstrap, 
and Dr. Westerfield, all good men, efficient in their 

— Fifty-seven — 


ancient and honorable profession. The law was rep- 
resented by able men, some of whom later won dis- 
tinction in national affairs. James L. English, the 
Hughes brothers, George Heard, father of Jno. T. 
Heard, many years a member of Congress, and 
Judge Russell Hicks, were among the first lawyers. 
Around the middle of the last century two strangely 
gifted and brilliant young men, graduates of Center 
College, Danville, Kentucky, located in Georgetown, 
and began the practice of law. One was Geo. G. Vest 
and the other was John F. Phillips. At the beginning 
of the Civil War Mr. Vest cast his fortunes with the 
South, and represented his state in the Confederate 
Congress at Richmond. Mr. Phillips, on the other 
hand, drew his sword in defense of the Union, and 
rose to the rank of colonel. After peace was made, 
Mr. Vest, for four and twenty years, was in the United 
States Senate, and used to be fond of speaking of him- 
self as a senator of two republics. Col. John F. Phil- 
lips was once elected to Congress. Later President 
Cleveland appointed him United States district judge. 
His capacities and attainments would grace the su- 
preme bench. Major William Gentry was for many 
years a member of the County Court, and later w^as 
made Judge emeritus. 

The first ministers of the gospel at Georgetown were 
Rev. Mr. Wolf and Rev. Allen Wright. Judge Ramey, 
Judge Warren, and Mr. Ellis, the village blacksmith, 
were to the manor born and kings of the realm. The 
names of some other families, who lived in the town 

— Fifty-eight — 


in her palmy days, were Hopkins, Ford, Moore, Wil- 
liams, Montgomery, Henderson, Lightfoot, Benson, 
Agee, Courtney, De Jarnette, Brown, Hogue, Bard, 
Sneed, Barry, Ryland, Barnes, McClure, Robinson, 
Fristoe, Clopton, Blakemore, Jenkins, McVey, Ramey, 
Edmondson, and Jenny. Good Captain Kidd, whom 
everybody loved, kept the only hotel in the place. He 
had an estimable wife and eight charming daughters 
who possessed all good graces both to keep a restful 
home for weary travelers and to make merry for the 
young people of the whole community. On public 
days and long winter evenings this "tavern" was the 
scene of many gay and happy gatherings. 

"Thither went they gayly! gayly! 

Where their eoming was a joy, 
Just to pass away together 

One long day without alloy. 
Not a brozv with cloud upon it — 

Not an eye that seemed to knoiv 
What a tear is; not a bosom 

That had ever nursed a woe. 

"How swiftly! swiftly! szmftly! 

Like the ripples of a stream, 
Did the bright hours chase each other 

Till it all seemed like a dream: 
Till it seemed as if no Never 

Ever in this zvorld had been, 
To o'ercloud the bright Forever, 

Shining o'er the happy scene." 

— Fifty-nine — 


The following paragraphs from the graceful pen of 
Mrs. Sarah E. Cotton will be a fitting close to this 
chapter : 

"My heart is moved to pay this tribute of love to 
the memory of a sister who said many kind words of 
me, and also of others who were dear friends of ours. 
We were the closest companions both in girlhood days 
and in the later years. Our life in dear old George- 
town was halcyon and happy. Nothing ever occurred 
— either of joy or sorrow — to dim its pleasant mem- 
ory. Life for us ran quietly as the brook by which 
we sported. 

" 'A charm from the sky 
Seemed to hallow us there, 
Which, seek through the world, 
Is not found elsewhere. 

" 'Still o'er these scenes my memory wakes. 
And fondly broods with miser care; 
Time the impression stronger makes. 

As streams their channels deeper wear.' 

"In a genial atmosphere of faith, hope and love, my 
sister grew into a perfect flower of womanhood. Her 
life in the early years was full of dreams and fancies, 
characteristic of the girl 'standing with reluctant feet 
where the brook and river meet.' 

"Fond of the romance of travel she made a jour- 
ney to Niagara Falls, the natural wonder of the new 
world. The visit was extended to the Saint Lawrence, 

— Sixty — 


and the great cities of Canada. Later she spent much 
time in New York, and devoted a year to travel in 
Europe. This passing from one country to another 
and the constant change of scenery both broadened 
her education and mitigated the memory of a sorrow 
that was too deep for sympathy and too sad for tears. 
I draw the veil over this ordeal and turn my thoughts 
to happier things. 

"She wrote beautifully both in prose and poetry. 
Some of her poems are gems and possess real literary 
merit. However, it is not on this account that I prize 
them, but because they are particularly poems of the 
heart. The secret of their beauty is the purity of their 
thought. Even a stranger will discover in her lines 
a wealth of sympathy and love as fragrant and re- 
freshing as the breath of spring. Some one has said : 
'My mind is my kingdom.' Sister had mental endow- 
ments that would have been an apology for her using 
this utterance, but she could more truly say: 'My 
heart my kingdom is.' To be able to win and to hold 
the affections is the supreme test of character. On 
leaving London Lord Byron said : 

" '/ go, hut wheresoe'cr I flee. 

There's not one eye zvill weep for me, 
There's not a kind congenial heart 
Where I can claim the meanest part.' 

"More precious to my sister than lands and houses 
was the place she held in the love of those whose 

— Sixty-one — 


lives she touched in helpful ways. Without ostenta- 
tion or display, modest and retiring, she was a woman 
who wore the white flower of a blameless life. Lone- 
ly without her I am still comforted with the reflec- 
tion of what she did, the certainty of her reward, 
and the hope of seeing her face to face in our Father's 

" 'It is sweet to think hereafter 
When the spirit leaves this sphere, 
Love on deathless wings shall waft her 
To those she long hath mourned for here. 
Life from which 'twere death to sever, 
Eyes this world can ne'er restore. 
There as warm, as bright as ever. 
Shall meet us and be lost no more. 
Oh! if no other boon were given 
To keep this heart from wrong and stain, 
Who would not try to win a heaven 
Where all zve love shall meet again?' " 

— Sixty-two — 


Love never fails, though knowledge cease, 

Though prophecies decay. 
Love, Christian love — shall still increase 

Shall still extend her sway. 

True religion 
Is always mild, propitious, and humble, 
Plays not the tyrant, plants no faith in blood; 
Nor bears destruction on her chariot-wheels; 
But stoops to polish, succour, and redress. 
And builds her grandeur on the public good. 

— Miller. 

Religion is equally the basis of private virtue and 
public faith; of the happiness of the individual and 
the prosperity of the nation. 

— Barrow. 

True religion is the foundation of society, the basis 
on which all civil government rests, and from which 
power derives its authority, laws their efficacy, and 
both their sanction. 

— Burke. 

Religion is as necessary to reason as reason is to re- 
ligion. The one can 7iot exist without the other. A 
reasoning being would lose his reason in attempting to 
account for the great phenomena of nature, had he not 
a Supreme Being to whom to refer. Well has it been 
said, "If there had been no God, mankind would have 
been obliged to imagine one." 

— Washington. 

— Sixty-four — 


Chapter VI 


True religion will make a man a more thorough 
gentleman than all the courts in B-urope. You may see 
simple laboring men as true gentlemen as any duke, 
because they have learned to fear God; and fearing 
him, to restrain themselves, which is the root and es- 
sence of all good breeding. 

— Charles Kingsley. 

Religion is the fear and the love of God; its demon- 
stration is good works. Faith is the root of both, for 
without faith we cannot please God, nor can we fear 
and love ivhat zve do not believe. 

— Penn. 

The early settlers of Georgetown were pious people 
who reverenced God, divine institutions, and all sacred 
things. They believed that the things of the kingdom 
are of first importance. These Christians belonged to 
the various religious bodies represented by those who 
had come from the east where churches had been long 
established, and trained both in the principles and the 
practices taught in the New Testament. The homes, 
the log school houses, and even the groves became 
temples for the worship of God and the teaching of 

— Sixty-five — 


the divine word. After the courthouse was built it 
afforded a place where devout people of every name 
and of every creed could meet for divine service. Thus 
the house of justice became also the house of prayer. 
Mrs. Smith describes in graphic terms both the struc- 
ture and the grounds : 

"The building was erected handsomely and sub- 
stantially, and the square was inclosed with a fence and 
shaded with locust trees selected and planted by our 
grandfather. In my eyes there never was a prettier 
house. It was square, with a large door in the center 
of each of the three sides, and a large window on each 
side of the doors. The north side had the two win- 
dows, but no door, the space between being occupied 
by the judge's bench. This was a platform about four 
feet high with chairs on it, and terminated at the two 
windows with four or five steps. A balustrade fol- 
lowed the whole length of steps and platform. A 
stairway led to the second story. As my young feet 
proudly ascended its lofty heights, I looked on the as- 
sembled multitude with awe and admiration that have 
not come to me since, even in the palaces of Europe. 
The roof was beautiful, not simply a board-covered 
comb, like our common cabin homes, but square and 
shingled and terminated at its top with a lovely octag- 
onal observatory, with green shutters hung to white 
posts; and this also had a beautiful shingled roof. 
The cupola in turn was surmounted by a tapering spire 
that held a gilded globe with an arrow above on which 
was pivoted a fish of gold that turned with the wind. 

— Sixty-six — 


How could anything be prettier? That lovely red 
brick wall, with its painted windows and doors, that 
splendid roof, and that beautiful cupola, up two 
stories high ! And the ladies could go in, too ; for 
within its walls they had big meetings, great revivals 
of religion, schools, and sometimes temperance 
speeches and lyceums. You can have no idea how the 
sun shone on the courthouse, and how lovely the 
moonlight fell and played its soft caressing touches 
about the great locust trees. No, you can never 
know ! Dear old Georgetown !" 

One of the early ministers who held revival serv- 
ices in the court-house was the Rev. Allen Wright, a 
strangely gifted and pious man, who was identified 
with the religous body known as Disciples of Christ. 
Mrs. Smith and her mother were converted under his 
preaching and together came into the fellowship of the 
church in Georgetown. The following tribute to Mr. 
Wright was written by the lamented Moses E. L,ard, 
his life-long friend : 

"Allen Wright's power lay not so much in his mind 
as in his religious and moral traits. He was eminently 
social. Few men mingled with the masses so success- 
fully as he. His sound heart was free from all malice 
and imbued with the largest love. He delighted in 
the free off-hand life of the crowd, especially the re- 
ligious crowd. He was moulded by it rather than 
moulded it. He caught at once its easy, innocent 
spirit, and delighted more than most men in its flow 
of racy, kindly feeling. He laughed heartily, abounded 

— Sixty-seven — 


in rustic anecdotes, listened to what even a child would 
say, and replied frankly; did not flatter any one, but 
approved almost everything that seemed not positively 
■wrong. In his salutations he was cordial, usually 
rather grave and sentimental, never light nor trashy. 
In a crowd he did not seem grand but good ; he struck 
no one remarkably, but left all loving him for his art- 
lessness and purity. The common people saw in him 
what no one else saw in him but the common people, 
all for the reason that he never neglected them nor 
slighted them. He got close to them and they came 
close to him. In the humble, honest crowd, Allen 
Wright was always king. His adaptation to them and 
to their ways was perfect ; and they repaid him with an 
affection as pure as it was universal. To see him in 
a frontier cabin, hat off, coat off, boots off, sitting a 
little heavily in the chimney corner, with the domestic 
cob pipe, smoking and talking to the family in his own 
peculiarly grave and tender style ; and the secret of 
his wonderful power over the masses became at once 
explained. With that humble family in all its poverty, 
its toils, its hardships, its sorrows, its bereavements, 
he sympathized with a depth which made him the idol 
of their hearts and the delight of their homes. To be 
in one such honest abode, just after dinner, as the 
Christian mother stood beside her table washing her 
dishes, and told him the simple story of her buried 
dead; to witness the feeling with which he entered 
into that tale, and drank in those maternal sobs; to 
hear his comfortings, and see him gild the future with 

— Sixty-eight — 


the hopes of its reunions in Christ; and dull must 
have been the eye that could not see an element of 
true greatness in Allen Wright. No bosom carried 
a sorrow too secret or too sacred for him. He was 
the confidant and the comforter of the stricken spirit. 
Wherever death had blighted hopes or crushed hearts, 
all leaned on him and wept as on a father. God had 
mellowed his noble heart by afflictions in his own 
family, and thus fitted him to act his part with won- 
drous eifect in scenes like these. I never thought him 
so great as when comforting the sorrowing children 
of earth, and pointing them to the coming recom- 

Many other eminent and gifted men preached the 
gospel in Georgetown. It was virgin soil, genial al- 
most to a miracle to the good seed of the kingdom. 
Among the lovable and able ministers of the word 
were Rev. George W. Longan, Rev. S. S. Church, and 
Dr. W. H. Hopson. These gentlemen, in their palmy 
days, were the equals of the most distinguished preach- 
ers in this country. George W. Longan became the 
ablest and most widely known essayist in the com- 
munion of the Disciples of Christ. S. S. Church was 
a striking figure in any company. He filled a leading 
pulpit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for many years. 
Later he was pastor of the First Christian Church in 
Saint Louis. Dr. W. H. Hopson was one of the most 
pleasing pulpit speakers in the state. He had all the 
gifts of an orator. In sacred eloquence he was a 
master. For many years he was the pastor of a great 

— Sixty-nine — 


church in Richmond, Virginia. Later he was the be- 
loved minister of a still greater church in Louisville, 

In eighteen hundred and fifty one Dr. Hopson held 
a series of evangelistic services in Georgetown. An 
interesting feature of the revival was the conversion of 
fourteen young ladies from some of the best families 
of the town. Ten of these converts made the good 
confession at the same time. At the next service four 
others followed the example of their companions, and 
gave their hearts to Christ in the perpetual covenant 
of love. When these young women appeared for bap- 
tism they were all dressed in black silk. It was a 
strange fancy, and made a striking scene. The ar- 
rangement, however, was made among themselves, 
and was equally pleasing to everyone. It was a beauti- 
ful and impressive picture when the fourteen converts, 
dressed in black, went into the water, their arms 
around one another, and all remained till all were bap- 
tized in the name of Him who led them out of dark- 
ness into light. 

Any mention of the men of the first rank who held 
religious services in Georgetown in the early days 
would be incomplete without some notice, however 
brief and inadequate, of the Rev. Levi C. Marvin, a 
Universalist minister of the school of Hosea Ballon. 
He was born and reared in New Hampshire. He was 
well educated, a gentleman of polished manners, beau- 
tiful disposition, and high social position. When speak- 
ing on the love of God, His wisdom, grace, mercy, 

— Seventy — 


goodness and compassion, he was invincible and made 
a profound impression. Wherever he preached he 
made converts to his peculiar views of religion, duty 
and destiny, even if these converts made no public 
confession of their conversion. It was thought that 
Gen. David Thomson, Mrs. Smith's grandfather, was 
among this class. Mr. Marvin was also an old school 
abolishionist in spite of the fact that most of his 
friends were slave holders. This is the best evidence 
of his honesty and sincerity. His home was at Clinton. 
In eighteen hundred and sixty he was the only man in 
Henry county who cast his vote for Abraham Lincoln 
and Hannibal Hamlin. It is a striking tribute both to 
his high standing and the character of the good people 
among whom he lived that he could vote as he did 
without being intimidated or molested in any way. 
This observation is made for the information of a 
younger generation who can have no adequate idea 
of how intense was the feeling on the slavery question 
in the days preceding the Civil War which began soon 
after the first election of Abraham Lincoln. Two 
years later public sentiment had so changed that Rev. 
Mr. Marvin was elected to the lower house of the 
state legislature. When the house was organized he 
was made the speaker. His brother, Major A. C. 
Marvin, a Douglas Democrat, was the president of the 
senate. When the two houses met in joint session to 
elect a United States senator the two brothers sat side 
by side on the platform as presiding ofificers of the as- 

— • Seventy-one — 


The friends of Rev. Mr. Marvin used to be fond of 
telling the following circumstance : 

After going through the distressing experiences of 
the Civil War he was asked if he had changed his 
mind on the subject of hell and the everlasting pun- 
ishment of the impenitent. He made the suggestive, 
characteristic, and emphatic reply : 

"If there is no hell there ought to be one — at least 
for some people !" 



The hours are viewless angels, 

That still go gliding by, 
And bear each minute's record up 

To Him who sits on high. 

— Crauch. 

Not wholly can the heart unlearn 
The lessons of its better hours. 

Nor yet has Time's dull footstep worn 
To common dust the path of flowers. 

— Whittier. 

Still on it creeps. 
Bach little moment at another's heels. 
Till hours, days, years, and ages are made up 
Of such small parts as these, and men look back 
Worn and bewilder d, wondering how it is. 
Thou travellest like a ship in the wide ocean, 
Which hath no bounding shore to mark its progress. 

— Baillis. 

"Spare moments are the gold dust of time: — of all 
the portions of our life, the spare moments are the 
most fruitful in good or evil. They are gaps through 
zvhich temptations find easiest access to the garden of 
the soul." 

Much may be done in those little shreds and patches 
of time, which every day produces, and which most 
men throzv away, but which nevertheless will make at 
the end of it no small deduction from the life of man. 

— Colton. 


Chapter VII 


The moving finger writes; and, having writ 
Moves on; nor all your piety nor wit 
Shall lure it back to cancel half a line, 
Nor all your tears wash out a ivord of it. 

— Fitzgerald. 

Early in life Mrs. Smith began to keep a journal 
in which she carefully noted passing events, and some- 
times offered moral reflections on the incidents she 
recorded. This constant practice of reducing her 
thoughts to writing gave her great facility and beauty 
of expression, and disciplined her mind to sustained 
and systematic thinking. Her composition is always 
graceful and much of it classical both in conception 
and expression. After the lapse of three score years 
the handwriting is still beautiful, legible, and as plain 
as print. In these degenerate days of the typewriter 
and the postal card it is refreshing to read these ample 
pages written by a woman's hand and dictated by a 
woman's heart. The graceful writing of the olden 
time is a lost art. Her letters that remain, are also 
models of beauty, such as Thomas DeQuincy had in 
mind when he wrote the following paragraph : 

— Seventy-five — 


"Would you desire at this day to read our noble 
language in its native beauty, picturesque for its idio- 
matic propriety, racy in its phraseology, delicate, yet 
sinewy in its composition — steal the mail-bags and 
break open all the letters in female handwriting." 

The following extracts are from her journal which 
was begun when she was twenty-five years old and 
continued till a short time before her death. For the 
sake of brevity all dates are omitted : 

"By the grace and the mercy of my Holy Father I 
am permitted to record the return of another birthday, 
to look back on the varied lights and shadows, the 
hopes and the disappointments, the loves and the 
friendships, the childhood, youth and maidenhood of 
twenty-five years. Have I nearly gained the zenith of 
the hill of life? I am halting a short time on this em- 
inence to view the beautiful landscape, the sweet mem- 
ories of the past, and the bright hopes in the future, 
before with the jostling crowd I begin the descent !" 

"The whole secret of happiness lies in a firm and 
unflinching discharge of duty, and perfect confidence 
and trust in the God of love, to hope for the best and 
to be prepared for the worst; to lift the heart above 
the world, to endure all things for the glory of Him 
who suffered on the cross that we might live." 

"I called to see Miss Mollie Snell who came up 
yesterday from Boonville, and found her all the 
Doctor represented her to be, pleasing, intelligent, and, 

— Seventy-six — 


what I presume on longer acquaintance, will be a 
pretty face, though my first impression is not that 
she is pretty, but decidedly intelligent." 

"How glad and thankful I am that I have such a 
sweet home, devoted parents, kind and gentle sister, 
and affectionate friends. Let me not receive all these 
blessings without some return; let me study to make 
myself worthy, to dispense joy and love to some 
precious hearts, that I may not live in vain." 

"I have spent this Lord's day sitting with mother at 
her fire, and reading Dodridge's sermons on the evi- 
dences of Christianity, the Bible and the Harbinger." 

"While in Jefferson City, went to church on Sun- 
day. Heard an excellent discourse from the Rev. Dr. 
Boyle. When the Lord's supper was spread, his in- 
vitation to all Christians was so beautiful and so com- 
prehensive that I knelt with the Methodists around 
the altar. I enjoyed it and felt that we were children 
gathered around the table of our common Father." 

"Went to the penitentiary. Saw the convicts in their 
various occupations, their different apartments, and 
felt that human nature is poor, weak and frail, with- 
out the elevating influences of religion." 

"I woke with a song of gratitude and praise in my 
heart to Him who gives the light of this beautiful 
Sunday morning from the effulgence of his own glory. 
Be my guide today. Oh, Lord, lead me as a little child, 

— Seventy-seven — 


for without thy love and blessing I am miserable in- 
deed. Help me to be pure, to have the gentle and 
lovely graces of a w^oman and a Christian. Keep 
me in the way of holiness, and let all that I have and 
all that I am be devoted to thy service for Christ's 

"Heard Mr. Fackler deliver a farewell sermon this 
morning which was both beautiful and appropriate, 
solemn and impressive, from the text : 'Finally, breth- 
ren, farewell.' He dwelt on the past, its joys and sor- 
rows, and looked into the future with another people 
than those who so long had received from his hands 
the heavenly manna." 

"While with friends in the old Kentucky home I do 
not find much time to be alone, but often the silent 
beatings of my heart are wafted to the ear of Him 
who never sleeps, for blessings on the loved ones left 
behind. Visited the cemetery at Lexington, saw the 
vault where the ashes of Henry Clay are deposited, 
and the mound on which his monument is to be erected. 
Spent some time wandering among the narrow homes 
of the dead." 

"Went to Ashland, the home of our immortal Clay, 
but it seemed the glory of it, like the spirit of its 
great master, had fled. The old homestead has been 
torn away by the hands of his son to give place to a 
more elegant and fashionable edifice. It seems sacri- 
ligc, for it was sacred to the hearts of the people of 

— Seventy-eight — 


the whole union, and should have been preserved by 
his children for the sake of its memories. The walls 
of the new house are half finished, but I got a piece of 
w^ood of the step leading to his study, to make canes 
for father and grandfather." 

"Was at Lord Alexander's, as he is called on ac- 
count of his great wealth. Saw his fine imported 
stock, and the celebrated race horse, Lexington, for 
which the sum of twenty-nine thousand dollars has 
been refused." 

"Visited the old home, in Kentucky, where we used 
to live, and where the ashes of my little brother are 
buried. I could see the solemn procession follow from 
the door his little form, move slowly across the yard 
and deposit it very near the house, as if human care 
and love could lessen the chill of death. I tried to 
imagine the grief of my parents, as the little angel was 
torn from them before their hearts had learned sub- 
mission to the will of Him who 'chastens whom he 
loves.' I thought of the loneliness in their home de- 
serted by the little prattler, their only child. I thanked 
God that they and we, their daughters, have not been 
chastened in vain, that we now look forward to a re- 
union beyond the grave where the sun is ever shining 
and separations never come. I went into the old 
dilapidated house that my mother and father lived 
in when they were first married. I stood on the floor, 
looked on the walls and breathed in the same rooms 
where my parents' early married life, and my infancy 

— Seventy-nine — 


were passed. Upstairs I saw father's name on the 
wall. Just below I added the names of the other three. 
It was a sacred place to me. I wished to spend hours 
there, but had to go back." 

The scenes of my childhood so dear to my heart 
All pensive I visit, and sigh to depart; 
Their flowers seem to languish, their beauty to cease, 
For a stranger inhabits the mansion of peace. 

But hush'd be the sigh that untimely complains, 
While friendship and all its enchantment remains. 
While it blooms like the flozver of a winterless clime. 
Untainted by chance, unabated by time. 

— Campbell. 

On the nineteenth day of August, eighteen hundred 
and fifty-nine, she makes the following mention of her 
marriage : 

"Thursday, the nineteenth day of last May, was ush- 
ered in with a clear sky and a glowing sun. The birds 
were joyous in the springtime of their existence, and 
I, a timid, sensitive girl, was led to the marriage altar 
in my father's home by Mr. James H. Martin.* The 
ceremony was pronounced by the Rev. John De Jar- 

"We had a merry little party assembled and all 
passed off with seeming gaiety, my mother, father. 

*Later her name was changed to Smith by Act of Legislature of the State of 
New Jersey. 

— Eighty — 


and sister participating. But in our hearts were emo- 
tions beyond expression. The beautiful past, the un- 
known future ! — gratitude for the one, fear and hope 
for the other, while above all were unceasing prayer, 
earnest petition for the blessing of our Father in heav- 
en. Three months have passed, three of pleasure, with 
an occasional earth cloud, but I have reason for much 

"Father, help me do right, help thy handmaid do 
thy will and be Thou her guide and support." 

The following entry made in Mrs. Smith's journal 
on July fifteenth, eighteen hundred and sixty, is a 
beautiful expression of a mother's love, and a mother's 
devotion to her babe : 

"Changes come over all things earthly, and so they 
have o'er me. My boy is four months old — having be- 
gun his earthly pilgrimage on Saturday evening, the 
tenth of last March. To his mother he is beautiful, 
with his golden hair, blue eyes and exquisite complex- 
ion. He is not playful, and of course, we think it is 
because of some extra talent that makes him quiet and 

"I feel deep solicitude for him to excel in good- 
ness and in intellect. Great sprightliness, or any 
superficial charm, I am willing to sacrifice to real 
worth. I should like him to be a man of stern princi- 
ples, who would rather be right than to occupy high 
places in this world's honors." 

— Bighty-one — 


One year later she wrote the following mournful 
words : 

"An angel came and hushed my baby's cries, and 
while I prayed that he might stay, stopped his breath- 
ing, stiffened his little limbs, and bore his spirit to 

Our little life — 
Born of one fathomless eternity — 
Steals on a moment, and disappears 
In an eternity as fathomless. 

There is a special providence in the falling of a 
sparrow; if it he now, 'tis not to come; if it he not to 
come, it will he now; if it he not noiv, yet it will come; 
the readiness is all. 

— Shakespeare. 

"On the brow was written with God's own finger, 
'Everlasting peace;' on the still breast, 'Perfect pur- 
ity;' in the palms of the little hands, 'No rough scar 
of earthly w^ork shall ever stain them;' on the white 
round feet, 'Earth's thorns shall never wound them;' 
on the sealed eye-lids, 'No tears shall wet them;' and 
on the serene lips, 'No cry of pain shall pass them.' " 

— Eighty-two — 


To live well is to think what is true, 
To feel zvhat is beautiful, 
And to desire what is good. 


Her form was fresher than the morning rose. 
When the dew wets its leaves; unstain'd, and pure 
As the lily, or the mountain snow. 

— Thomson. 

Some souls lose all things hut the love of beauty; 
And by that love they are redeemable, 
For in love and beauty they acknowledge good, 
And good is God. 

— Bailey. 

There was a soft and pensive grace, 
A cast of thought upon her face, 
That suited well the forehead high, 
The eye-lash dark, and downcast eye, 
The mild expression spoke a mind 
In duty firm, composed, resigned. 

— Scott. 

Nothing truly can be term'd mine oTim 
But what I make mine own by using well. 
Those deeds of charity which we have done 
Shall stay forever with us; and that zvealth 
Which we have so bestow' d, we only keep; 
The other is not ours. 

— Middleton. 


Chapter VIII 


The angels sang in heaven when she was born. 

— Longfellow. 

Her cheek had the pale pearly pink 
Of sea-shells, the zvorld's szveetest tint, as though 
She lived, one half might deem, on roses sopp'd 
In silver dew. 

— Bailey. 

Nature was lavish in her gifts to this brilliant and 
attractive woman. Like Helen, of Argos, whose face 
launched a thousand ships and burnt the topless tow- 
ers of Ilium, she was such a pleasing personality that 
everybody claimed kin with her. She was above the 
medium stature, perfect both in form and feature. Her 
fine oval face, frank and open countenance and large 
wondering brown eyes were full of expression. In 
animated conversation they kindled with light and en- 
thusiasm. In repose her face had about it the sad 
mystery of one who had suffered, and over it was the 
aureole of a saint. Her voice, soft and low, was musi- 
cal as Apollo's lute. It bespoke a refined, sensitive, 
and gentle heart. Her disposition — rosy as the morn- 

— Eighty -five — 


ing — was retiring, trusting, and confiding. In thought, 
feeling, expression and conduct, she lived on a level 
far above the selfishness, hate, anxiety, and ambition 
of this dim spot that men call earth. Hers was a 
life of good will, which is the only absolute good in 
the world, and is life indeed. The fruit of such a 
character is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, 
goodness, faith, meekness, temperance against which 
there is no law. Such a life finds its inspiration in the 
sermon on the mount, the Shepherd psalm, and Paul's 
tribute to love. 

"Her crozvn zcas in her heart, not on her head: 
Not deck'd with diamonds, and Indian stones, 
Nor to be seen: her crown was called content; 
A crown it is that seldom kings enjoy." 

Her home in Sedalia, where she lived so many 
beautiful years, was a Mecca to which all made their 
pious pilgrimage when in need of help, sympathy, and 
advice. Every one, however humble his condition, or 
social position, found a listening ear, an understanding 
heart, and a helping hand according to the measure 
of his need. The Lord led her along a way she knew 
not. Through varied experiences she came to know 
the human heart, and how best to administer the 
needed help. The large estate inherited from her 
father and mother she held in trust as a good steward 
of the manifold grace of God. It was used for the 
comfort of her home, the happiness of her friends, the 
good of all, regardless of either race or color, for 

— Eighty -six — 


works of benevolence, education, and the advance- 
ment of the Christian religion both at home and in the 
lands beyond the seas. Never a society woman, she 
was a woman in society, and, with peculiar grace dis- 
pensed a generous hospitality. She believed women 
to be the first and greatest factors among the social, 
moral, and religious influences that make for the ad- 
vancement of the race in the finer and the diviner 
things of life. She gave herself with singular intel- 
ligence, sympathy, and devotion to reforms of every 
kind. With all her heart she believed that as God 
rules the world that truth will not be forever on the 
scaffold, and wrong forever on the throne. The Lord 
be praised, she lived to see the dawn of the better day 
for which the world has waited long. The secret of 
her confidence was faith, and hope, which springs 
eternal in the human breast. 

"The sun set, but not on her hope; 
Stars rose, her faith was earlier up." 

There is not a more beautiful story in history than 
the story of her continued kindness to young women, 
young men, and widows. "The mercy I to others 
show, that mercy show to me," was a prayer which she 
could consistently pray. The best her most devoted 
friend could wish for her was that as she had done for 
others so, under like circumstances, might it be done 
for her. Her life was an object lesson on the golden 
rule translated into conduct. She believed that salva- 
tion should be expressed in terms of character rather 

— Eighty-seven — 


than in terms of doctrine. This is the teaching of a 
striking expression in the book of Revelation : "It was 
given to her that she should array herself in fine linen, 
pure and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts 
of the saints." Through the patronage of Mrs. Smith 
many girls of small means were given advantages for 
education, culture, and social position that seldom 
come to even the daughters of wealthy parents. To 
be a guest in her home for years — as some were — was 
a liberal education to one responsive to such a refined 
and genial environment. To a chosen few she gave 
the culture that only comes from travel and study 
both in this country and in Europe. The traveled mind 
is the catholic mind educated from exclusiveness and 
egotism. "Nothing tends so much to enlarge the mind 
as traveling, that is, making visits to other towns, 
cities, and countries besides those in which we were 
born and educated." Saint Augustine used to say: 
"The world is a great book, of which they who never 
stir from home read only a page." The young women 
who shared the bounty of their generous friend made 
good use of the opportunities at hand, and in return 
gave the unchanging love and gratitude of fond hearts, 
and used their accomplishments to increase the hap- 
piness and to enrich the lives of others who were not 
so fortunate. 

"A grateful mind 
By owing owes not, hut still pays, at once 
Indebted and discharg'd." 

— Bighty-eight — 


Mrs. Smith's home was, also, a retreat for the widow 
who had no helper, especially for the one who was a 
life-long friend either of herself or of her father and 
mother. It was easy for her to practice the teaching 
of Israel's wisest king: "Thine own friend, and thy 
father's friend forsake not." It is as essential in the 
Christian religion to care for the widow and the or- 
phan in affliction as it is to keep oneself unspotted 
from the world. It is a beautiful and suggestive fact 
that it was left for James, the Lord's brother, to give 
expression to the truth that active benevolence and 
personal purity are the fundamental considerations in 
the faith once for all delivered to the saints. If these 
are the essence of pure religion before our God and 
Father, great is the reward of our sister in heaven 
where even a cup of water given in the name of the 
Master will be remembered. When she finished her 
course and reached the other side, some whom she 
had fed, clothed, sheltered, and comforted till they 
gained the peace of death and the victory of ever- 
lasting life, were there to say : "Well done, thou good 
and faithful friend; enter now into the joy eternal of 
thy Lord !" Her ministry of love to the lowly was a 
fulfillment of the Master's words spoken under the 
solemn sanction of accepted death: "I was hungry, 
and you gave me meat; I was thirsty, and you gave 
me drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in; 
naked, and you clothed me ; I was sick, and you visited 
me; I was in prison, and you came to me." 

— Eighty-nine — 


"She was the pride 
Of her familiar sphere — the daily joy 
Of all who on her graceful life might gaze, 
And in the light and music of her zuay 
Have a companion's portion." 

There was something in Mrs. Smith's character that 
was finer than anything she ever said or ever did. 
This was her Christ-Hke endurance of affhction. Dur- 
ing most of her later years she was an invalid confined 
within the narrow spaces of the home, and rarely 
able to attend divine service, or to visit neighbors and 
friends. Much is written in history of heroic deeds, 
but much more remains to be said of heroic endur- 
ance. It is easier for the average person to bear the 
heat and the burden of the day in active toil than it 
is to patiently endure the ills — physical and mental — 
that weigh on the soul. Dr. Jno. Watson says in one 
of his graceful little books: "If it were given us to 
choose the way wherein we should walk, is there one 
of us would not prefer the way of doing to the way of 
suft'ering? What soldier would not rather charge on 
the most forlorn hope, with an almost certainty of 
dying in the breach, than stand on the deck of a sink- 
ing ship till she made the last plunge, and the cold 
waters closed over his head? He who charged had 
done something; putting heart into an army, showing 
the road to victor}^, giving his body for a bridge ; but 
he who stood did nothing, striking no blow, advancing 
no cause, leaving no memorial. A mother's heart is 

— Ninety — 


light as she watches over her children and toils for 
their welfare, but she would fret and worry were she 
laid aside and commanded to rest. Any servant of 
Christ would ten times rather face a hostile world 
even to death in the declaration and the defense of 
the evangel, than be silenced and hear afar the sound 
of the battle. It is not given to us to know which has 
done most for a household; the strong man who won 
for them the meat which perishes, by the sweat of his 
face, or the gentle sufferer whose grace made clean 
their souls. We value the patriot whose words and 
deeds establish righteousness in the market-place, but 
may assign too little effect to his fellow held in pri- 
son and in bonds." 

It is a beautiful figure that represents our Lord sit- 
ting as a purifier and refiner of silver, passing the ore 
through the crucible of fire till the dross is consumed, 
the silver refined, and his own image reflected in the 
metal. It is the crushed olive that yields the oil; the 
pressed grape that gives forth the wine; and it was 
the smitten rock that gave the people water. The 
broken, contrite heart is rich in holiness, fragrant in 
grace, and in the sight of God is the pearl of greatest 
price. "They who sail on the surface of a summer 
sea gain no treasures but those who, weighed down 
with sorrow, fear not to sound the depths, return to 
the light with pearls in their hands. One vigil with 
Christ in Gethsemane teaches more than can be heard 
in all the synagogues, than all we gather in our pleasant 
days. We learn at last to say : 'Thy will be done,' and 

— Ninetv-one — 


to make our final surrender. If it be that hearts pass 
through Misery's presses, heaven is already bending 
over us in benediction, and the angels of God are mak- 
ing haste to be our ministers." It is the testimony of 
the wisest and the best of men that affliction teaches 
wisdom, culture, refinement, and sympathy that can 
be learned in no other way. Mr. William E. Glad- 
stone paid this tribute to his mother: "Her character 
was deeply and thoroughly imbued with love. With 
strong and searching processes of bodily affliction she 
was assimilated in mind and heart to her Redeemer. 
Few mortals suffered more pain, or more faithfully 
recognized it as one of the instruments with which God 
is pleased to forward that restoring process for which 
we are placed on earth." 

After the death of her mother and her babe, Mrs. 
Smith lived with her father and sister, in a pathetic 
affection deepened by a common sorrow. The loss of 
her only child was a blow from which she was slow 
to recover. More than two score years she carried in 
her heart this heavy sorrow. Her love for her son 
found increasing strength with increasing days. It 
came to be the ruling passion strong in death. This 
little nestling gone to heaven was the sweetest memory 
of her home. Like our Lord, having loved her own, 
she loved him till the end. All good men reverence a 
mother's devotion — even though it be the devotion of 
a mother-bird that does not fall on the ground without 
our Father. Birds fly away from battlefields except 
when there are nestlings. A tree was set on fire by a 

— Ninety-two — 


hot shot from a gun-boat. A soldier passed by when 
it was a pillar of flame, and there was a mocking bird 
dead on her nest with her wings spread out over her 
young — all of them dead. The captain, when he saw 
it, saluted and rode on into the battle. 

When Mrs. Smith realized that her last hour on 
earth had come, she was the same calm, self-poised 
woman that she had always been. One whom she 
loved with singular devotion, and on whom she had 
bestowed special benefaction, sat beside her couch and 
held her hand — "a fair, frail hand that scarcely 
seemed of flesh — so wasted, white, and wan it was. 
The great, wondering brown eyes had sunk deep away 
in their sockets — and their light shone dim as tapers 
dying on an altar." To her young friend she bore 
this grateful testimony : "Vie, I am glad you are do- 
ing your duty in the world." 

The last thought to which her tongue gave expres- 
sion was for the one whom she loved and trusted 
above all others. "What wiU we do with sister?" she 
whispered in tones soft as a dream of beauty. Look- 
ing for the last time into the fond face that was bend- 
ing over her she said : 

"The Lord bless thee, and keep thee ; the Lord make 
His face shine upon thee, and be gracious to thee; the 
Lord lift up His countenance on thee and give thee 
peace." Then, "softly as a cloud, a golden cloud, 
upon a summer day, floats from the heat of land out 
o'er the sea, so her sweet life passed away." 

With the exception of three years Mrs. Smith spent 

— Ninety-three — 


all her life in one place, and was buried in the cemetery 
on a wide prairie where she gathered wild flowers 
when a child. She carried in her heart the family his- 
tory of scores of her neighbors as well as the history 
of the founding and the growth of the most beautiful 
city in central Missouri. Her familiar figure in the 
home, the house of God, and on the streets of the 
town, joined the present with the past, and opened 
a treasure-house of sacred memories. Such a career 
is an inspiration to the young to make life a beautiful 
and noble calling which will be followed by a lofty 
destiny and the dawn of immortality. 

— Ninety-four — 


Truth shines the brighter clad in verse. 


Poetry comes nearer to vital truth than history. 


You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some 
tvith you. 

— Joubcrt. 

Poetry is the music of thought, brought to us in the 
music of language. 

— Chaljield. 

A poem's life and deatJi dependeth still 
Not on the poet's wits, but reader's will. 

— Brome. 

Love well 
The poet who may sow your grave with flowers, 
The traveler to the far land of the past. 


Poetry is the sister of sorrow; every man that suf- 
fers and weeps, a poet; every tear is a verse; and 
every heart a poem. 

— Andre. 

Poetry has been to mc its own exceeding great re- 
ward; it has given me the habit of wishing to discern 
the good and the beautiful in all that meets and sur- 
rounds me. 

— Coleridge. 

Chapter IX 


The life of a poet sKould be a poem. 

"It seemed her pain had made her lay more szveet 
As I have heard the nightingale doth sing 
Pierced by a thorn; and God pains the hearts 
Of poets most who sing the sweetest song." 

Poets and painters have done more for the educa- 
tion, the elevation, the happiness, and the inspiration 
of the race than the philosophers. To the average 
mind philosophies and commentaries are as dry as 
Slimmer dust. Poetry is the oldest form of literature, 
as may be seen from the Book of Job, which is a 
solemn tragedy, and Homer's Iliad, the greatest epic 
in any tongue. Poets and painters live in closest 
touch with nature and nature's God. When they write 
poems, or paint pictures, it is from the heart of 
things. Both are strangely endowed with a sixth sense, 
that is the ability to see, to understand, and to reveal 
to others the invisible. This makes them, next to our 
Lord, the greatest and the best of all teachers, because 
they live more and have their being in the realm of 
the infinite and the unseen. It is the testimony of the 

— Ninety-seven — 


Divine Spirit that the things which are seen are tem- 
poral, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 
Some one has said that poetry is truth told in a 
beautiful way. For this reason the most beautiful 
poetry in the world is the poetry of the Bible. This 
form of speech easily lends itself to the expression of 
religious thought and feeling. George R. Wendling 
makes the significant remark in one of his brilliant lec- 
tures that "there is not enough poetry in infidelity to 
make a single verse of song." The Old Testament 
prophets were singers as well as seers. Isaiah, the 
poet-prophet, was the forerunner of Christ both in 
the manner and the matter of his teaching. His 
prophecy is in reality the fifth gospel. The fifty-third 
chapter of Isaiah would be a fitting introduction to the 
study of the arrest, the trial and the crucifixion of our 
adorable Lord, as reported by the four evangelists. 

Much of the Master's teaching, with slight change, 
can be thrown into rhythmic phrase. This is especially 
true of the sermon on the mount. Dull indeed must 
be the ear that cannot detect the poetry on almost 
every page of the gospel narratives. The apostle Paul 
adorned his sermons and epistles with quotations both 
from the Hebrew and the classic poets. More than a 
score of such quotations are found in the epistle to the 
Romans. His sermon preached on Mars' Hill at 
Athens, reported by Luke, the beloved physician, is 
a masterpiece of sacred eloquence. On this brief ad- 
dress his fame as an orator at last will rest. Instead 
of reading the Jewish Scriptures he selects his text 

— Ninety-eight — 


from an inscription on one of the many pagan altars 
to be seen on every hand, and illustrates and enforces 
his teaching with a line found in two Greek poets : 
"For we also are his offspring." These two poets 
were Aratus, a Celician, one of Paul's own country- 
men, and the other was Cleanthes. The following are 
the opening lines in the poem by Aratus : 

''From Jove we begin — who can touch the string 
And not harp praise to Heaven's eternal King? 
He animates the mart and crowded way, 
The restless ocean, and the sheltered hay. 
Doth care perplex? Is loivering danger nigh? 
We are his offspring and to Jove we fly." 

Cleanthes begins his sublime hymn to Jupiter, which 
contains forty lines, with this stanza : 

"Most glorious of the gods, immortal Jove; 
Supreme on earth beneath, in heaven above! 
Thou great first cause, whose word is nature's lazv. 
Before thy throne we mortals bend with awe; 
For we thine offspring are. To man is given — 
To man alone — to lift a voice to Heaven." 

Mrs. Smith learned in suffering what she taught in 
song. It costs a great deal to be a poet as it does to 
be a blessing. Strait is the gate and narrow is the 
way that leads to the highest grade of service, and few 
there are that find it. Only those who pay the price 

— Ninetv-ninc — 


have the reward of a useful Hfe. The real cost of a 
book is the labor one must give in understanding it. 
The one without the other is of little value. This is 
the meaning of the paradox: "To him that hath shall 
be given, and he shall have more abundance ; but from 
him that hath not shall be taken even that which he 
hath." This is true, because fidelity to match the ca- 
pacity and the opportunity is the highest achievement. 
This is the one thing that is everything. The matter 
of first importance is what a man is, rather than what 
he does or what he says. The life is more than 
meat, and the body is more than raiment. It is 
Christ's method to make the tree good, and the fruit 
will be good also. A good man out of the good treas- 
ure of his heart brings forth good things; and an evil 
man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. 
Men do not gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles. 

"Howc'er it he, it seems to me 
'Tis only noble to be good; 
Kind hearts are more than coronets 
And simple faith than Norman blood." 

The greatest forces, both in nature and redemption, 
move through silent courses. The dew of summer and 
the frost of winter are not distilled in a storm. In 
the quiet night while men sleep both come on every 
tree, and flower, and blade of grass in the countr}' and 
in the town. So, also, the real benefactors of the race 
are the sweet and virtuous souls who work in quiet 

— One Hundred — 


ways, and sometimes in lonely places, giving to the 
world inspiring sentiments and high ideals. It was 
said by a thoughtful mind that when Millet painted 
the two peasants standing in the field, with bowed 
heads, at the hour of evening prayer, listening to the 
bells in the convent tower, he did more for labor, 
and the laboring man, than if he had seized a spade 
and worked in the fields of France for fifty years. 
The poets have done quite as much for the conversion 
of the world as the evangelists. Multitudes have been 
won to Christ by a song even when the sermon had 
failed. An interesting story is told of Augustus Top- 
lady. More than a hundred years ago he was a lad in 
England. His parents were pious people, but the son 
in spite of many prayers, sermons, and entreaties, was 
still resolved never to become a Christian. In the 
providence of God, however, his good mother and her 
son made a visit to Ireland. On the Lord's day they 
went to a place of worship where a good man was to 
preach. This minister was most earnest in his sermon. 
He put the question to the unsaved whether they 
would give themselves to Christ, or remain in their sins. 
Every time the pastor repeated the question, the young 
man said in his heart : "No, I will not." At the close 
of the sermon his heart seemed harder than ever ! The 
minister gave out an invitation hymn. It begins : 
"Come ye sinners, poor and wretched." The con- 
gregation, stirred by the sermon, sang the song with 
the spirit and the understanding. What the sermon 
could not do the singing of the hymns did. It moved 

— One Hundred One — 


his heart as the waters when the wind blows on the 
face of the sea. It was the Spirit of God calling him 
through the hundreds of voices singing the gospel that 
day. This lad, saved by a song, became a minister of 
the word and author of the stately hymn : 

"Rock of ages, cleft for me, 
Let me hide myself in thee." 

Whatever was Mrs. Smith's experience in pain and 
sorrow it did not destroy the poetry in her heart, 
which, like the Aeolian harp, was responsive to the 
tempest's breath, and filled the night with praise. "She 
counted only the hours that are serene, took no note of 
time but by its benefits, watched only for the smiles, 
neglected the frowns of fate, composed her life of 
bright and gentle moments, turned always to the sunny 
side of things, and let the rest slip from her unnum- 
bered or forgotten." A minor key in her poems sug- 
gests that experience had taken her below the sur- 
face of things down into the mystery of the world, its 
sin, its suffering, and its sorrow. It was hers to suf- 
fer much, but she was given beauty for ashes, the oil 
of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for 
the spirit of heaviness. Some of her poetry "cheers 
like a sunbeam; charms like a good story; inspires 
like a brave leader; binds like a golden chain; and 
guides like a heavenly vision." The following "Rhap- 
sody" is a fair sample of her poems which will com- 
pose the second part of this little book: 

— One Hundred Two — 


"Dear little baby, hozv strange it does seem 
To see your face laughing so sweet in a dream. 
Are the angels that brought you so close to our shores 
That you still catch the light of their bright, dripping 

Cleaving the waters of heavenly hue. 
That bear them away from me and from you? 
Are their whispered goodbyes, and the kisses they 

fling — 
Voiceless to me as a bird on the wing — 
So full for my baby of promise and grace, 
That heavenly glory is shed o'er his facet 
Do they tell you alone of mirth and of song, 
And of flower-strewn paths for your feet in the 

And bring you, my darling, to bless me awhile 
With the grace and the charm of your magical smile f 

'Ah! Questions are vain. We only can know 
That the years with their changes must come and 

must go: 
That the lives that are past, and the lives that are 

Are by our Father with mystery fraught; 
That the joy you bring to a world growing old 
Is more precious than jewels in caskets of gold. 
It is mine for today — yes, mine for all time — 
Here and hereafter — eternally mine!" 


Poetry itself is a thing of God. He made his 
prophets poets; and the more we feel of poetry do we 
become more like God in love and power. 

— Bailey. 

Poetry is something to make us wiser and better, by 
continually revealing those types of beauty and truth 
ivhich God has set in all men's souls. 

— Lowell. 


Chapter X 



Father, my heart I bring to Thee, 
That Thou my greatest need may'st see; 
Hard, unworthy, frail and weak, 
Thy tender aid I humbly seek. 
This world of light, and love and song, 
Doth chant Thy praise in echoes long; 
Each tiny bird, and flower and tree, 
Gives glad, sweet strains of minstrelsy, 
All Nature tunes her soul to sing 
Thy praise, and all her glory bring 
To honor Thee, my God and King; 
But I, alas, with my torn wing. 
Low in the dust must ever lie. 
Unless Thou lift my soul on high 
And give my tired feet the strength 
To walk in Wisdom's ways at length. 

Sedalia, Mo., 1878. 

— One Hundred Seven — 



When Summer hath waned into Autumn's bright hue. 
And frosts take the place of the earlier dew, 
With a tenderness only that dear mothers know, 
Death hideth her darlings away 'neath the snow. 

The life that seemed waning in storm and in heat, 
In exquisite casket lies safe and complete ; 
Each tiny seed wrapped in its shell on the sod, 
Fulfilling in silence its mission to God. 

No life is destroyed, only changed in its kind, 
And Summer will give it again to the wind; 
Bud, leaf and blossom all perfect again 
Will adorn with gay beauty the pathway of men. 

Twin sister of life, rejoicing I come, 
With laurel and wreath for the good thou hast done ; 
O process of Nature! — O wonderful thought — 
Life gives us death, from death life is wrought. 

Sedalia, Mo., 1878. 

One Hundred Eight — 



On life's rugged road 'tis sweet to stand 

On the top of its loftiest peak, 
And gazing afar toward the possible land, 

Its ultimate boundary seek. 
It is thine today, that wonderful sweep 

In the distance, so mellowed and fair 
That the touch of the Lord seems almost to reach 

Thy face in its uplift of prayer. 
Transfigured by faith the past all appears 

A garlanded way opened wide; 
A glorious vista of joy and of tears, 

The dear, dear friends, the altar, the bride. 
But the call of the Reaper oft heard to the fold 

Hushed many of those loved ones to sleep ; 
"Beside the still waters" they love as of old, 

And vigil eternal they keep. 
Oh, marvelous love ! For the oncoming years 

We pray His righteousness still 
To illumine thy pathway and dispel all thy fears. 

While loving and working His will. 

New York, April 9, 1890. 

One Hundred Nine — 



A poem must come, a dollar be made, 

Tho' rhymes and dimes are not my trade. 

Still must I try; my wings must fly. 

Out of my brain must come a strain 

Of jingle and tingle to mix and to mingle 

The dryest of worth with heartiest mirth ; 

That saints that are wrinkled, 

And saints that are gray, 

That saints that are youngest, 

And saints that are gay, 

May laugh and beguile one sweet hour away. 

But oh, that dollar; how can I get it? 
I cannot beg, how can I fix it? 
A bright idea. The Christian will 
Bring it, Subscribe, subscribe. 
Dear friend, without a bribe. 
At once, at once, subscribe, sub; 
A shoulder cold: 
"No Christian needed in our fold." 

Sedalia, 1895. 

— One Hundred Ten- 



In childhood's hours — for joy or woe 

A day is a ponderous thing. 
The morrows are all too stately and slow, 

Delaying the pleasures they promise to bring. 

But on they go — both sure and fleet, 

These days of slow advance. 
And baby hands and baby feet 

Go gaily on in the dance. 

But a little while and the past will hold 

A measure so full of days 
That baby memories growing old 

In looking back will count decades. 

Ah well, if baby hands and baby feet 

Have kept their record true, 
The older hands and older feet 

Will have no cause to rue; 
But all be joy and all be sweet 

To lay at the Master's holy feet. 

New York, October, 1889. 

— One Hundred Bleven — 



(Trip to Lon^ Branch. When he was dyin^) 

Bow to your God, ye men called divine ; 
Kneel on the sod, ye men from the mine ; 
Swift run your train, O good engineer ; 
Brave, though he dies, there's nothing to fear. 

Hark : "Let her go," the dying man said ; 
Speed, then, your train, and onward they sped; 
Too late, alas ! the breeze from the wave 
Kissed his pale brow, but too late to save. 

Room for the hearse, a great soul is gone; 
Break, oh, ye hearts, the dark deed is done; 
Toll all ye bells, a world bows in grief ; 
Roar all ye guns, dead, dead, lies your chief. 

Mourn, all ye fair, your hero lies low; 
Songs fill the air, but all tell of woe; 
Droop for your son, ye flag of the free ; 
Wail all ye lands, from sea unto sea. 

Jersey City, October 1, 188L 

— One Hundred Twelve 



Kitty, kitty, go to sleep, 

Shut your eyes, now don't you peep; 

Sing with me your little song, 

But do not make it very long. 

Hurry, kitty, for you see, 
Mamma soon will come for me; 
And I must see you safe in bed, 
All covered up except your head. 

And while I rock you in my chair. 
You must purr your little prayer; 
Although you say it soft and low, 
Christ will hear it all, you know. 

Mamma makes me bend my knee, 
But kitty, dear, you can't, you see; 
For you're too little yet to try, 
See : I'm so tall, and big, and high. 

And then you can't say any words. 
No more than chicks or little birds; 
But when you do your best to tell. 
He will hear you just as well. 

Sedalia, Mo., February 18, 1879. 

— One Hundred Thirteen — 


(To Mr. and Mrs. T. A. Gunnell, of Colorado Springs, on the death 
of their daughter, "Kate") 

"There is no death," save death for Hfe, 
Our Hfe is here the wealth of death; 

No hfe on earth our God doth give 
That is not nurtured by its breath. 

Your darhng only closed her eyes 
To open them on deathless life; 

The eternal hills of Paradise 
Are hers, with everlasting life. 

No death nor anguish will she know 
In that fair realm where life is love, 

No shadow cloud her radiant brow 
Where Peace eternal reigns above. 

Let not your home be hushed and stilled 
Where erst her voice made melody, 

The keys her fairy fingers trilled 
Will yield again their symphony. 

O, stricken ones, be strong and brave, 

Your storm-swept hearts our Lord will still ; 

The world is full of souls to save. 
Your child is safe. Abide His will. 

New York, March 10, 1890. 

— One Hundred Fourteen — 



Out of God's eternal treasure, 

Moving swiftly through the spheres, 

Come to us with unvoiced measure 

Days and weeks and months and years. 

They are jewels for our keeping, 
And by toil must polished be; 

While in darkest hours of weeping 
They gather light we cannot see. 

Tho' the task is long and heavy, 
Bravely we must bear it all; 

For even gems without their grinding 
Ne'er can grace a kingly hall. 

Time, with furnace-heat and mallet. 
Helps us deal the needed blows ; 

And will lose no scattered fragment 
From the anvil where it glows. 

Then at last sweet rest will find us, 
Decked in years and years of gems, 

And the darkness left behind us 
Will be aglow with diadems. 

— One Hundred Fifteen — 


So today I tread the highlands 
Of the glorious, golden time, 

Where the pilgrim scarce can enter 
Without prophecy sublime. 

Sedalia, January 10, 1880. 


Oh, ye strange city of the dead, 

Ye are not strange to me ; 

Hearts with more of love 

Than earth could hold 

Are in thy strong embrace, 

And I did share that love, 

Feet whose swiftness 

Outran for me the fastest 

Flight of time; and dear folded 

Hands that were quick to bind 

My slightest wounds, 

And lip and eye whose 

Inwrought souls hid 

All my faults in sympathy 

Divine, lie sleeping in thy shades. 

Ah, for me such 

Noble ser\dce hath been 

Wrought in such sweet way, by them, 

That love did give to love 

A prophecy of Heaven. 

— One Hundred Sixteen — 


Only yester morn through 

Thy silent groves another form 

Was borne, a dear tired 

Form, whose dimpled 

Hands did clasp my 

Own at school, and later walked 

Beside me in the young 

Romance of life. 

Anon, our hands did 

Touch in mid-day's shine 

And storm, and we 

Wept and joyed together as time 

Went on. And now her 

Sinless life, with the stamp of grief 

In deepest lines 

Upon her sad brow. 

Is yielded up 

To God in all her chastened 

Beauty. Each pain and sorrow 

Suffered here, and borne so patiently, 

Beams now a gem of glory 

In her coronet of love and joy. 

And so it is not strange to me 

This land of hallowed dead, 

Their music sweet fills all the air. 

On this my soul is fed. 

Sedalia, Mo., September, 1898. 

— One Hundred Seventeen- 



Sweet spirit that so long hath graced 

The royal feast of life, 
And given thy service in the ranks 

Of holy Christian strife. 

We come with loving words to greet 
Thy presence while we may; 

To weave a garland for thy brow 
On this glad Christmas day. 

In all our years that backward lie, 

Thou hast led the way. 
And all that dreadful seemed to youth. 

Made beautiful as day. 

The awful path where trials lay 

In wait for tender feet. 
Dismayed us, till we saw beyond. 

Thy face so pure and sweet. 

The lowering clouds, the storm and stress. 
From which we shrank with fear, 

Changed in thy blessed company 
To Heavenly calm and cheer. 

Like leaves that in the warm embrace 

Of sun and dew unfold, 
The glow of Jesus' love thy face 

And form benignly hold. 

— One Hundred Eighteen — 


Filled at His fount of love, thy heart 

Reflects His love again, 
Then giveth out, in word and deed, 

Unto thy fellow men. 

And so we come with joy to greet 
Thy presence while we may. 

To weave a garland for thy brow 
On this, thy natal day. 

Sedalia, Mo., December 25, 1898. 


(On receiving her picture) 

Roses lie all about thy path, my child, 
And sunshine gilds thy day. 

But He who grants this joyous life 
May sometime cloud thy way. 

Then take and trust a Father's love. 

He doeth all things well. 
Be yours the Hope — the Faith to move — 

The shadows to dispel. 

Life is sweet, my little friend. 
To those whose hearts are true. 

And Love's the passport in the end 
That makes our Heaven secure. 

— One Hundred Nineteen — ' 



(Mr. and Mrs. Sam Beiler) 

In all the world there's not a girl 
So dear to me as darling Jennie; 

She'd say me nay in such sweet way 
It didn't scare me worth a penny. 

Her step was high and her tender eye 
Beat all the eyes of lovers faery; 

When turned on me, bade darkness flee, 
I longed to call her "mine, my dearie." 

A time there came when hope was gone, 
For 'neath the stars one silent evening 

I left her with a heart forlorn. 

And gave my heart to bitter grieving. 

Another time she gave a smile, 

That smile her maiden love confessing ; 

And in all these years, 'tis true, my dears, 
Oh, girls, you cannot beat me guessing. 

And thus tonight, with love bedight, 
I here unfurl the silver lining; 

For every cloud has turned to light, 
Transformed by Cupid's soft beguiling. 

— One Hundred Twenty — 


In fragrant fells and bosky dells, 
Where'er a loyal lover dwells, 

No word so sweet as one that tells 
Of wedding bells, sweet silver bells. 

Oh, bells sublime, oh, bells divine, 
Oh, happy, heavenly wedding bells. 

The silver bells, the golden bells. 
The everlasting wedding bells. 

Ring out, ring out your glad refrain, 

Ring 'round the earth your happy chimes; 

Ring out, and out, and out again, 
And ring to Heaven the glad Amen. 

Sedalia, Mo., 1897. 

— One Hundred Twenty-one — 



(On receiving a beautiful picture of herself) 

Pausing here in grace and beauty 

Heart and soul all undefiled, 
I would throw life's fairest flowers 

For thy feet, my darling child. 

And in all thy happy morning 

Stamped by heaven with richest ray 

Youth and joy thy face adorning, 

Hope's sweetest song should be my lay. 

And on and on through womanhood 

More grace, more beauty and more song, 

With love divine, (not understood) 
Should keep thy steps thy way along, 

September, 1900. 

GENTRY, 1903 

Oh, blessed baby, with eyes of blue 

Laughing and sobbing the whole day through ! 

Day by day each year hath wrought 
And added grace, a wealth of thought, 

A halo on thy brow hath thrown 
Of duty well and bravely borne. 

— One Hundred Tzvcnty-two — 


That baby, now with crown of white, 
Her life aglow with heavenly light, 

Is laughing still — with eyes of blue 

And working still — the whole day through 

And blessing still— in many ways, 

Oh, grant her more — more years of days. 


In every clime beneath the sun. 
Where'er the rapid years do run. 
Until both sun and stars decline, 
I'll hold you as my Valentine. 

And when the sands of life run low, 
And fortunes come and fortunes go ; 
In tottering age, in life's decline, 
You still shall be my Valentine. 

And when both days and years are past. 
And we have reached the eternal vast, 
E'en then and there you shall be mine, 
My ever living Valentine. 

February, 1895. 

One Hundred Twenty-three ■ 



Mothers, look out from your warm, sunny homes 
Where comfort and love have made their abode, 

And count, if you can, the dear little ones 
Whom poverty drives away from your door. 

From carpets so soft that your tread is unheard. 
From firesides crackling and sparkling with mirth. 

From cradles where naught but the love coo is heard, 
From walls that shut in all the pleasures of earth. 

Let your feet go in search of the waifs of the town. 
Look into their hovels of want or of shame. 

And show them the beauty of labor and toil. 
And teach them to work for a home and a name. 

Little untrained hands that are empty and cold, 
Little hearts that have never been lifted in prayer, 

Little feet that are wandering away from the fold. 
Little moans that are lost on the dull wintry air 

Are waiting for balm you only can bring, 

The light you can throw on their darkened way; 

The gladness of song you only can sing. 
The glorious love that brightens your day. 

— One Hundred Twenty-four — 


Like toiling insects beneath the dark sea, 

We are building a fabric our Father hath planned, 

Where each one must work, tho ' in shadow it be, 
Till eternity's light reveals where we stand. 

Teach them the gladness of work, and a song will be sung, 

Hallelujahs the angels will hear; 
"The sweat of thy brow" is the magical word 

That rings down the ages in tones loud and clear. 

Sedalia, Mo., 1884. 


(Coming to Sedalia) 

An impulse eternal from the Great and the Good 
Stirred the heart of our father as he turned from the wood 
And built in the prairie a home in its wild. 
Where solitude reigned supreme, undefiled. 

Under its roof tree sweet fancies were told 

Of the future, excelling King Midas of old ; 

Suns rose and set, stars shone on high, 

And the winds, undisturbed, trailed their Avay from the sky. 

The family housed, he went out in the blast 
And battled for progress and privilege vast ; 
All alone for a time he wrought with a will, 
Knowing Heaven at last his wish would fulfill. 

Sedalia. Mo.. February 24, 1895. 

— One Hundred Twenty-five — 


A Tfoc Story 

(Dear Little Maggie Laidlaw) 

"Butterfly, butterfly, beautiful thing! 

Did you catch from the rainbow your many haied wing? 

Did the sun, as you came through the skies, 

From palette o 'erf lowing with exquisite dyes, 

Drop splashes of paints on your wings soft and white, 

And send you to me in this Avhirl of delight? 

' ' Butterfly, butterfly, light on my hand ! 

Just look and you'll notice how still I can stand. 

I will hurt you no more than the trees and the flowers, 

Where you frolic and play all the long summer hours. 

I'll pluck a bright "star"* from the grass at my feet. 

And hold it up high while my call I repeat." 

Over the fence and aAvay to the street, 
The butterfly swept on his wing wild and fleet, 
And left the child chasing it down to the gate. 
Calling, "Butterfly, butterfly, why can't you wait?" 
The scene and the tones in my mind linger yet, 
Making picture and music I cannot forget. 

The next summer came with its flowers and birds ; 
Its skies deep and blue, holding billows of pearls. 
Its pleasures and gladness, from Heaven above, 


— One Hundred Twenty-six 


Were weaving about us, a fabric of love. 

When alas ! The beautiful child craving beautiful things, 

Was borne from our arms upon angels' bright wings. 

The dear little hands that our own had kept warm, 
The frolicksonie feet we had guarded from harm ; 
Grew pulseless and still — the spirit had fled, — 
We were watching alone with our glorified dead. 
Like the child for the fly, now we call and we wait, 
Looking still toward the sky, standing still at the gate. 

Sedalia, Mo., June, 1878. 


Oh, come and bring flowers, earth's richest flowers, 
And lay them all down down at her feet ; 

She loved you and blessed you in life's sunny hours. 
And now she is resting in sleep. 

'Tis no time to weep, 'tis no time to mourn, 

When her victory of life is complete -, 
But bring chaplets, rare chaplets of flowers. 

The richest of flowers, and lay them all down at her feet. 

Sedalia, Mo., December 1, 1900. 

— One Hundred Twenty-seven — 



The melanch'oly days are come, the saddest of the year, 
The punkin pie is almost done, our jubilee is near; 
Heaped in barrels down below, the fragrant apples lie 
A-waitin' for the sewin' bee an' girl with laffin' eye. 

The win's a-howlin' 'round the house, the rain is fallin' fast, 
The leaves are flyin' up an' down, the sunshine all is past ; 
The hay is in the barn, an' the corn is in the shock, 
An' the boys '11 go a-huskin', whether schule keeps in or not. 

An' gramma keeps a-knittin' — a-knittin' for us all — 

An ' I hold the hanks while Mimy winds the ball ; 

Our Mimy is a daisy, with cheeks like apples red, 

An ' she blushes, an ' she blushes at everything that 's said. 

The wren is gone, an 'all the birds, and the rabbit thro' the leaves 
Keeps up a noise, a constant noise like rain from drippin' eaves; 
The win's a-blowing all the day, an' from the trees the crow 
Seems a-grievin' for the flowers that perished long ago. 

But Mimy's lips are like the rose, her eyes the sweetest blue, 
An' then her hair ain't very red, but just a golden hue; 
An' the sunflower's nothin' to the yaller dress she wears 
When we are out a-walkin', an' aigazing at the stars. 

An ' when a good day comes, as still such days will come 
To call the squirrel an' the bee from out their winter home. 
An' I hear the nuts a-droppin', e'en tho' the trees are still 
An' all the day is smoky o'er the waters of the rill. 

— One Hundred Twenty-eight — 


Ah, then I wouldn't care how many summers died 

If Mirny could be only forever at my side; 

No gloom would ever darken that happy home of ours, 

For 'twould blossom as the rose with Eden's fairest flowers. 

Sedalia, Mo., November 10, 1890. 


A Spinner who wrought with the speed of the wind, 
On an errand of mercy was sent to mankind; 
From the throne of the Master his mandate was given : 
Draw out a thread so strong, so sublime. 
That nothing can rend it; nor malice, nor hate. 
Draw it out ! Draw it out, the task is divine. 
From morn until night no rest must thou take; 
From night until morn the same diligence make — 
Through sunshine and tempest, in storm and in calm. 
Relax not thy vigil, withhold not thine arm. 
Wouldst know this thread from the realm of day? 
'Tis the Christ love in mortals, those beings of clay. 
Who frail as a bubble have come in their pride. 
With this golden thread their only true guide 
Through the storms and quicksands of this lowly earth 
It leads back to heaven, the place of their birth. 
And guarding it well from stain and from rust ; 
'Tis the anchor of safety that will hold for the Just. 

New York, 1890. 

— One Hundred Tiventy-nine — 



My morning was bright with a glorious sky, 
And I joined the toilers hurrying by; 
But my hands were soon idle, my feet became still, 
Impatient, I cried, "Is it really God's will?" 

I'm weary with beating 'gainst cold prison bars 
That shut out my life as clouds do the stars ; 
I'm chafing to join the bold busy throng, 
Who are giving their work as birds do their song. 

Oh, bounteous heaven, is there nothing for me, 
Save idling here on the sands of the sea, 
Watching the workers who haste to the shore, 
Their sheaves safely garnered, their labors all o'er? 

The waters already are touching my feet. 
No work have I done that for Heaven seems meet; 
What shall I say to the "Spirit who grieves" 
To carry me over with "nothing but leaves?" 

Oh, for strength in the vineyard to work for one day; 
But if that is denied me, still let me pray 
That God will accept me as one of the throng 
Who worships and loves Him with unceasing song. 

St. Louis, October, 1879. 

— One Hundred Thirty — 



"Time is short, and work must be done," 

And her delicate fingers wove night and day; 

So swiftly they wrought their fabric of love 

That the blush of the morn was still on her cheek, 

Its dews not yet brushed away by her feet. 

When the web and the woof of her life were all told, 

And fell into our arms, rich fold upon fold. 

Finished, finished! Oh, God, it is soon 

To close such a life. For so sweet a boon 

To go out from our perishing earth — 

So weak, so needing the help she could give, 

Could heaven not spare her yet a short time to live? 

Still, Father, we bless thee, thou lovest the fair, 

And our angel is safe, tho' gone from our care; 

But, Father, we grope, it is dark, give us light. 

Let us not sink, but have strength to bear. 

To do, and to dare, to work in the world's busy throng. 

Our darling so brightened our pathway here 

That we knew little of sadness, thought little of fear. 

Take thou now our hand, dear Lord, 

And lead us, tho' blindly, by thy living word, 

And let us not cringe as the slaves of a King, 

But knowing thy love, tho' we weep, let us sing. 

Sedalia, Mo., June, 1887. 

— One Hundred Thirty-one — 



Oh, I can never forget, it clings to me yet, 
The bound and the swing of life's merry spring. 
When with sister at play at the breaking of day, 
When the world, newly born, woke the stir of the morn, 

And the whispering stars with Orion and Mars, 
Were fanned in the sky by the wind passing by. 
Making melody sweet, that danced in our feet, 
And bowed the great trees in the whispering breeze. 

Or when our little tasks ended, our mother suspended 
A few moments more her watch at the door. 
And in race or in dance, away we would prance, 
Beguiling the time in laughter and smile. 

So it comes to me yet with but little regret, 
For my seventy years have banished the tears, 
The vista between filled with beauty serene 
Is vocal with song all the day long. 

Oh, the lark's note on high, and the wind sailing by. 
We hear it today as together we pray, 

"Nearer, Nearer, My God, to Thee," hand in hand, oh, let us 5 
More and more Thy love divine, more and more, oh, make 

Sedalia, Mo., 1890. 

— One Hundred Thirty-two — 



With reverent awe, oh, dreaded Death, 

I beg to lift thy somber veil 
The while I seek with bated breath 

To find God's love in thee prevail. 

Oh, let me come and lift the pall. 
Perchance, e'en glory I may see; 

For He who made and loveth all, 

Hath crowned our earthly life with thee. 

Then let me linger near thy side 
As friend and friend together go. 

And waiting in thy portal wide. 
Abide my time 'till all I know. 

It cannot be that thou dost hide 
In awful covert lone and bare 

Save but to crush some awful pride 
And give for love a wild despair. 

No, thy wing is brooding in the air. 
In every sound thy tale is told ; 

Thy Maker's law doth everywhere 
Demand a new life for the old. 

— One Hundred Thirty-three — 


By thee my pulses first were stirred, 
By thee my wants are all supplied; 

New songs in life had ne'er been heard 
If older music had not died. 

Without thee I had never known 
The pleasure of this life on earth; 

And can I doubt that from thy throne 
We gain the great immortal birth? 

Then creep no more, O soul of mine. 

Through paths by Death itself made bright. 

But plume thy wings for fairer clime, 
And soar with her to higher light. 

Oh ! let our vanished ones have wings 
To speed them on to worlds sublime, 

For universal Nature sings, 

"The Hand that made us is divine." 

Sedalia, Mo., August, 1878. 

— One Hundred Thirty-four — 



Oh, Time, withhold thy hand. Take not yet away from us 

This century grand. This century on whose fair tablets men 

Have writ such noble deeds. We know the good old 

Eighteen hundred, and now, ere thou hast closed the door, 

Ere the lock is turned forever on this hallowed name. 

And we are thrust in stranger halls, may we not wander back 

And clasp once more the hands we loved and grasped. 

And hear once more from lips that loved, our name 

In love? What has this Nineteen Hundred with its long 

Stretch of years to exchange for our happy past? 

We pray thee wait a little while before the change. 

And make more sure of all the wonders men have wrought, 

And now hold out to thee. Old' Time. 

The clouds that draped the world in darkness all 

Day long, sped rapidly away, and while I mused, 

The stars joined hands and danced in gladness. 

The good old year with sweeter face than I had ere beheld, 

And eyes that beamed o'er all the world in love. 

Laid all her burdens down, gathered up her 

Jewels of Truth and Righteousness and 

Shedding happiness from her golden wings, 

Waved a glad good night, and vanished 

Into that hallowed past that already 

Holds for us so much of the beautiful. 

— One Hundred Thirty-five — 


The fair New Year had come while I lingered 

With the old. And life went bounding on to the 

Music of the stars, as from creation's dawn, 

And the lesson, that only Love and Faith and Hope 

And character are immortal, and that the 

Pure in heart alone shall see God, was borne into my soul 

With the gladness of the night, and I was happy 

And welcomed Nineteen Hundred 

As the other sped away. 

Sedalia, Mo., January 1, 1900. 

H 17 ^Oi^4^^ 


3' S^ 


^f^ "^ *r °«^ 

•/ ^^^*^^*\/ %'^i^-/ ^<>.^^.\. 

.-Jv"^ »'« s» • 

V .•i^* <^^ 

A^ v'ft:^'. 

V .. 




♦^ ; 



)^ .!.••' "^^ 


* A>-^ - 

'.y *^ 

s^ o 




*^ DEC 89